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  • Marco Menato



    I am Italian-born, and grew up in Africa from the age of 12: in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). I studied Geology and Chemistry in Cape Town, South Africa, but I was always intrigued by philosophy, and art. I sought to answer Gauguin's three questions: "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" by living and assisting in the development of alternative lifestyle communities. Later I worked for many years in hi-tech/internet technology in the USA, UK, and the Netherlands before moving to la Gomera, and dedicating myself to painting.



    Artist Statement


    Joan Didion wrote “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” This describes why I make art.


    I am deeply moved by the critical state of our collapsing ecological balance, and in my art I ache to reconnect human experience to the wonders of the natural world.


    My inspiration are the island of la Gomera, its people, and a constant flow of personal memories. I follow a method I call “chaos-based” painting. Whether engaged with a portrait or landscape I paint my expressionistic experience of the subject. More often I like to start a canvas empty of all concepts of what might emerge, without aim nor end-result in mind. So although my paintings are figurative, they often begin as abstracts, gathering form over time. I need to play with paint on canvas before identifying shapes, patterns, colours, rhythms, and sometimes the subject matter itself.


    I sign my work as “brazza” – the Italian/French 19th Century Africa-explorer – as a reminder to keep learning, and to meet new challenges with his grace, and magnanimity.