Hugo Brazão: May Improve Mood

 Hugo Brazão

Artwork’s Title:  May Improve Mood

Materials Used: Pink Himalayan Salt, Jesmonite, Shellac and Pigments

Studio Based: London

Hugo Brazão, May Improve Mood, 2018, Pink Himalayan Salt, Jesmonite, Shellac and Pigments

Art Verge

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Hugo Brazão

When it comes to making, it really changes from work to work, as I work across different media. In some of them it requires a more spontaneous approach and others a more premeditated, planned way of working. For example, in May Improve Mood I knew I wanted to use a specific material but I wasn’t working towards a specific outcome. It was through experimenting with that material that it took its shape. But if I’m working with textile, for example, it’s a completely different process.

Would you use three different words to describe the ‘May Improve Mood’ painting?

Salty, Soothing, Sarcastic.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

I made this work for a show I had last January at the Las Palmas project space in Lisbon. There I introduce the false idea that the paint used in the distinctively pink walls of the gallery space was concocted and applied in location specifically for this show. After researching into this precise shade of pink that is characteristic of the gallery space, I was specifically interested in how it had been used in the past for its calming effects (Baker-Miller Pink). This work was made with Pink Himalayan Salt as a sort of joke, referencing something else that is also pink and that is claimed to improve your mood and energy levels.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

Himalayan Pink.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

This work in particular? Against a pink wall, to increase its calming effect.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Without mentioning any artists in particular I think I can say I look into a lot of art on Instagram these days. No shame on it though, it’s a great way to see what artists from a similar generation to mine are doing on a global scale.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

When I had to pack it to send it to Lisbon.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

It’s great! I share a space with two great artists in one of the Acme Studios in Homerton. I think my space within it reflects my practice, as there are a lot of different materials laying around: paints, plaster, fabrics, sewing machine, etc. As it is a small space, I try to keep it as organised as I can… but I fail at that quite often.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

In the show where this work was included, I was exploring the idea of creating a space of well-being within the gallery. I did this almost in an ironic way, thinking of all the problems that we are facing in recent times and the idea that you can escape from them by not thinking about them. In a similar way, this work uses a material that is used by some people in their homes in the hope it will improve their lives. In the end, it’s really just a way people use to escape from finding definite solutions to their problems. Even though it’s all probably an old wives’ tale, I like the idea that this work could be working actively in renewing the energy in the room!

What does your mum think about your art?

She’s my number one fan, alongside my dad, and I love them for that!

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Phyllida Barlow at the RA.

Which are your plans for the near future?

I’ve got a couple of things aligned in Portugal this summer, so that is what I am working on at the moment.  Later in the year I’ll have my first solo show in London, so I’m very excited for that too!

Additional Works

Hugo Brazão, Pinky in the hole ,30 x 45 cm, Jesmonite, pigment, PVC pipes, baked beans, marmite, clotted cream, rope and hooks, 2019
HUGO BRAZAO (vista geral)
Hugo Brazão, HIATO, 250x 330 cm, Calico, Felt, Cotton, Upholstery Webbing, Carpet Underlay & Ropes, 2017
Hugo Brazão, TAKE TEN, Installation view, Las Palmas project space, Lisbon, 2019
Hugo Brazão, The Closer You Look The Better We Look, Installation view, PEER UK Gallery, London, 2016

© All images are courtesy of the artist


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