VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
Every now and then you come across a talent so incredible that you feel a willingness to pay unusual amounts of money for such work. When I first heard about Emanuel Ribeiro as an artist, I was immediately interested in his work with animals but had no idea what kind of standard to expect. That soon changed when I arranged a visit to his atelier in Porto and saw his work in person.
Emanuel works in a small, modest, but very tidy and organised space. Everything is in its place and this goes against the usual image I have of an artist’s studio. There is no craziness, there is no eccentricity. As soon as you walk in, you notice a level of cleanliness and organisation that reflects the artist’s mind and soul. And my chat with Emanuel confirms this – he is someone talented and ambitious yet his head is firmly on his shoulders. As much as he dreams of expanding his reach, he frowns at the idea of overcharging just because he can. And he is very clear about what he would and wouldn’t do to please a client.
It didn’t take long for me to offer Emanuel a collaboration. And no doubt he will be painting my dogs too.
Welcome to our March DogBlog!
EMANUEL RIBEIRO – FINE ARTS ARTIST
I’m a Fine Arts artist, 42 years old and from Gondomar, Porto (Portugal).
My passion for Art has always been present and I often say that it’s a passion and a cross to bear in equal measure. As much as you love doing certain things, being an artist is not an easy choice. Ever since I remember, being an artist was always my destiny, and although I have had other work experiences, I always returned to Art.
For a while, I collaborated with SPEM (Portuguese Society of Multiple Sclerosis), while always dedicating myself to the arts. As a daytime job, I work in Tattoos, and although this came to be late in life and was never part of my initial plans, I’ve been doing it for 10 years. I started in Soares dos Reis (an Applied Arts School), left in 1998, never joined Fine Arts because I wanted to learn how to work with marble and this wasn’t possible; I searched for a tutor, and through a Fine Arts teacher I found António Pinto, one of the last portuguese stonecutters; he trained me and so I ended up joining the Centro de Estudo e Trabalho da Pedra (which has since shut down).
These works identify two of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis – brain fog (confusion) and numbness (pins and needles)
I completed a Level 4 degree in Conservation and Restoration because this was the only one available, even though my interest had been sculpture. After this degree, I moved to Lisbon and ended up being placed at the Museum of Faro for a company called Pedra Malva but always looking out for sculpting opportunities. My then boss got on well with the artist Carlos Andrade (who worked at the International Centre for Sculpture), so he invited me to be his assistant and I accepted immediately. From that day I worked at the centre until it closed. When the recession came many galleries started to reduce artists’ chances for better professional opportunities and so sales decreased. So I returned to Porto.
When I got here, I was invited by the Centro de Estudo da Pedra (Stone Masonry Centre) to lecture in secondary schools for 4 years. I started a family and being a teacher wasn’t the easiest profession to conciliate with art. I ended up working at a metal factory for the next (almost) two decades and during that time I started working at a tattoo parlour, influenced by my friends.
Sculpture is still very much a part of my life. 3 years ago I finished a job that took me 2 years to complete, but right now I’m reliant on orders. I try to promote it through my digital channels and I get by; tattooing is more commercial than sculpting but that’s also a stigma that I’ve been trying to fight over the years. Recently, Art has become a bit too intellectual and people rarely go to galleries; if you don’t understand what you see there, you are called dumb, so people stay away. I happen to think that everyone should enjoy Art, not just the elites.
There is a struggle in Art, which I see, myself, as an artist, in conciliating what I think as an artist with what is commercial. So I try to do things differently. I tend to charge for the hours I work and this is quite rare because it’s a very humble approach.
If you would like to know more about Emanuel’s work and even order pet portraits, then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make it happen!
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