The thickness of our skin changes with age. In appearence as well as in conviction. The paintings of Catarina Machado, although young, are convinced of their own thickness. The movement of colours mixing up in irregular lines is not the result of a random action; it corresponds to a previous organisation from which the final work will derive.

The compulsive overlapping of lines insinuating the perception of the body when it comes out in movement and immediate reactions – Surf. The obsessive experience of body outlining that fights for equilibrium is transposed to the sinuosity of the chromatic language.

Saturated painting that does not bore you neither does it exhaust itself reinvigorated by the endless intromission of pastings, diverging movements and rhythms, one has to look at it for a while. You cannot see it all at one glance except in novels, nothing is to be seen at one glance, with people that have met in other lives, – ah! Metempsychosis, what about it?

Catarina’s painting is suffering healthy incarnations in many colours and nevertheless keeping its unity. The unification is brought by intuition that finds parity in the present historiography. The historiographic evidences that are revisited in the conceptualising imaginarium of the artist are a kind of secret companionship, where dynamics and irony are simultaneously at work.

Painting is act and action, is action and performance. It’s almost an art in the sense of performance – the art of the body.

To understand the sentences that pursue each other without overlapping. If I were painting, I deliberately could tell right things, one over the other, without being necessarily Fernando Pessoa. But I am myself, so it’s up to me to imagine the dynamics of painting, the playfull affirmation of breath – unyelding, unceasing, breathing over itself and over others around.

Let’s enter the room that has a nice English name, which nowadays refers to an interesting concept in aesthetics. Suddenly you are surrounded by paintings, colours riding over each other. Each one knows its private path. They circulate, they jump, they are bow and arrow, eiderdown of fine feathers. From under shoes or boots, the light comes out; your feet are a source of light. You walk over paintings, carefully, because the colours are solid but the painting asks for tenderness. The fragility of the light around you creates inner conflicts. The soul is uncertain – is it transparent, translucent or full of colours?

Apart from the systematising erudition of our meetings of art, we have to find the unique path; not necessarily new or different, but unique, because it is personal. Then the identity that digs into the canvas brings life to the outside cells, going along with the morphologic integrity of substance and brings out an optimistic language reaching the center of the world, indoors, after walking down the uneven steps holding to the roughness of the place.

Catarina Machado has turned the invisible structures into density of colour, the abstract forms into potencial neighbours of our everyday imagination. We now wait for the final test: to know how to dive in the inscrutable ocean of a compact reason, where intuition and body wisdom only can discover the infinity, the unity of a person.

Porto by fortune, February for sure, March no doubt.


Fátima Lambert