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How They See - Issue #39: Catia Goffinet on painting the energy

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How They See

April 17 · Issue #39 · View online

How They See will help you to meet artists from all over the globe and understand their perception of art.

ON VACATION

Published weekly on Saturday.


This week I would like to present Catia Goffinet, an artist from Brazil. What at first caught my attention to her art are elaborate compositions, usually stretching to two or more canvases. Those paintings do not even make sense as a whole, but most importantly, they are concise, can defend themselves and attract the viewer on their own.
The next element is Catia’s technique: thin layers of transparent colors. This way of painting is nothing new, but in her works, it can definitely evoke emotions in the viewer and provoke a dialogue with him. A result that is important to every artist.
You can learn more about Catia Goffinet by visiting her Instagram profile.

As far as I read in your bio, you held degrees from Business Administration, Law and you finished Pan American School of Art and Photography. I must say it is quite an unusual choice of faculties and it looks like quite a journey to what you do at the moment
Yes. Maybe it’s a little bit unusual. When I had to choose a career to study I chose art but my parents did not support my choice. Perhaps for cultural reasons and also for the idea that they had about how a person should live and support himself. Before graduating in law and administration, I started two other universities but I did not meet.
As I always liked to study a lot, I finally decided on the law area. It was a great career and I liked it a lot, but art accompanied me throughout this entire journey, even when I worked in large companies as a lawyer.
Over the years I studied art, took several courses and improved my techniques until I studied at the Pan American School of Art and Photography. And here I am. Passionate about what I do today in painting (@goffinetarte) and photography (@goffinetphoto). There is no right time for anything. There is always time.
“I am passionate about lines, colors and shapes.” Where does this passion come from?
Throughout the years when I have gone to exhibitions by both great and small artists, I have always appreciated colors, shapes, abstraction and techniques. However, I have an artist who has always enchanted me (Alfredo Volpi). The simplicity of his works, the colors and the shapes have always entered me. And without my realizing it, I started following a path that led me to lines and shapes. Geometric has become my way. Colors and shapes are always my challenges.
Catia Goffinet, Parallel Universe 3
Catia Goffinet, Parallel Universe 3
You are the first artist, I am interviewing, who so often extends compositions to diptychs, triptychs or even quadriptychs. Can you tell me more about your approach to composition?
Wow! This question is a little complex to answer because it involves a certain personal philosophy. Many of my works have themes such as time, the universe, parallel universes, etc. I have the idea that in the universe everything is connected. We are all connected and I believe that as in a single atom there is a positive and a negative among so many other particles, in our life there is always this connection, this ambiguity. And why not a repetition? This idea always inspires me to take pictures in sequences, ambiguous or that complete each other.
This idea possesses me.
It seems to me that the most difficult part of such compositions is to make them appear consistent as a whole and to make unique pieces work as independent paintings. What do you really find challenging?
When I create identical pieces to form a set, this is already a challenge. Making them look different is a big challenge. The way they are arranged makes them unique even though they are exactly the same. This actually has a representation of humanity itself. We are all the same and at the same time unique.
In some moments creating different works that connect also has a certain degree of difficulty because when looking at them they must be unique.
When I paint a single work it is also a huge challenge because it must touch the observer and he must wish to enter the work. I believe that nowadays I have managed to make many of my buyers really enter the work or at least feel this need.
You said, “I like to paint the energy” and you can feel it in your paintings. Where do you get your energy from?
I believe that everything is energy. I feel that energy in everything. Even a simple object has the ability to have that energy. My paintings are made as a ritual full of dedication, music, affection and joy. They are not an escape or a “therapy” they are energy created and transformed into colors in form. My energy comes from everything I believe in, everything I love, everything I dream, everything I dedicate myself to.
Paintings by Catia Goffinet
Paintings by Catia Goffinet
Your process consists of arranging layers of transparent colors. It looks quite demanding and complicated. How do you handle errors that inevitably occur along the way?
The layers of transparent colors really do not accept errors. That is why I say that all my work requires the utmost attention and dedication. I prepare the work all the time so that mistakes are avoided but I have already made mistakes that turned into works and ended up adhering to such errors as techniques. I think the process always has something that teaches us. Mostly mistakes.
When I was reading your comments under paintings, especially about noticing small things or energy I got a notion that your art somehow stands in opposition to the modern, fast-paced world, that doesn’t care about such concepts. 
I like the modern world. In fact, I like it a lot. I think we can have more time for more important things since technology has brought us time-saving. What I don’t like is being accelerated. I think the modern world has brought us millions of benefits that we still don’t know how to enjoy. Technology virtually connects us, but it has alienated us in real life. I like human contact. Sit down, open a wine, talk about life, about the universe without interference. I like to sit in my studio at night and look at my work and feel it. I like life full of human contacts, subtle, alive. I think we have time left and we don’t know how to use it. I don’t think we need to live as if time is running out. It is not leaking. We who no longer know how to be at peace, in silence, in feelings. We need to feel life and not go through it.
At the same time, I am not able to disconnect your art from your philosophy and way of thinking about the world or nature. The more I was reading and looking at paintings the more these elements seemed inseparable to me.
I’m very happy to hear that. This is a great accomplishment because I feel the same thing when finishing each work: Ready! I said what I wanted.
Catia Goffinet, Convergent or Divergent?
Catia Goffinet, Convergent or Divergent?
Have you actually received the learning from the Indians inside the beaches of the north coast of São Paulo (Ubatuba)?
Yes. For many years I spent every weekend between the beaches of Ubatuba and Maresias. I met some Indians who sold their painted fabrics. I ended up getting closer and learning the techniques they use to paint. I learned their traces, their mix of red seeds to make a color and for a while, I worked a lot with these techniques. Even some of my works have this influence.
Can you give any advice to any self-taught artist or designer?
My advice: read. Look at the work of any artist that is in an intimate way. It does not matter if you are a great artist positioned on the market or if you are an artist at the beginning of your journey. What is important is to look at each work and feel if there is something communicating with you there. It is possible to learn a lot as much as the work speaks to you as if it is silent. The question must always be: why did this work speak to me? Or: why didn’t speak?
What’s your favorite color? 
Without a doubt it is Blue. Black has a strong connection with my soul too.
Thank you for reading my art newsletter! 🙏
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Have a great week!
Piotr
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