Summer brings with it fireworks and festivities galore but also an encouraged focus on the arts produced by both international and Japanese artists. One of these celebrated artists is Romero Britto. Metropolis had the pleasure of speaking to world-renowned painter and sculptor during his brief visit to Japan to gain an insight into the creative process and inspirations behind some of his most famous works.
J: What brought you to Japan this month, was it for business or pleasure?
RB: I came here for a birthday party of a friend of mine, and I also visited the Tokyo American Club, and I’m going to be back here for the Olympic games next year.
J: What initially inspired you to pursue art as a career?
RB: What made me pursue art as a career was the passion I felt growing up. I always loved art. I came to a point that I was very miserable going to college and so I thought that I would turn my hobby into my profession, and I’m very lucky that people relate to my work and I have been very successful with it. I love sharing my art with others and with the world, it’s my greatest source of pleasure.
J: You are best known for your paintings as well as your sculptures, which form do you prefer out of the two and why?
RB: I love painting. The process is a very intimate experience for me and I love sharing my work with others. When they bring my work to their homes and it becomes a part of their house is what makes it so personal and intimate. But in the end, I also really like the idea of being more open with my art by bringing it to public areas and creating monuments and large sculptures. Truthfully, I like the freedom of being able to do both.
J: Do you work exclusively in vibrant colors or do you also create monochromatic pieces?
RB: My work is most known for its color because the usage of color is very important to me and my art process, but I did try and do several experiments in my work in monochromatic color, from red, black and white to blue, black and white or even incorporating yellow, so I definitely often try to reimagine my work in different ways, especially through the use or absence of color.
J: Do you take inspiration from traditional Brazilian art and culture when you are envisioning and creating your artwork?
RB: Yes, I definitely do take inspiration from Brazilian art and culture. I have done several paintings inspired by Carnival and Brazilian culture. I haven’t lived in Brazil for the last 30 years but I do love Brazil. My home country has always been a really big source of inspiration for me and is often reflected in the work that I do.
J: How does your art process separate you from other artists working in similar media and styles?
RB: My process, I believe, is very different because I use traditional mediums which are tangible, like paint and sculpting materials. That is what separates my work from graphic artists who do the majority of their work digitally.
J: Do you have a message for aspiring artists?
RB: Yes, I do. My message is simple: Paint as much as you can, share as much as you can and don’t think about the money first. Passion is everything to an artist and their canvas.