Paulo Sergio Zerbato
Paulo Sergio Zerbato is a Brazilian artist living in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil with his wife and daughter. Paulo was born in 1971 in Vitoria, a small town also located in the state of São Paulo where his parents were farmers. Paulo currently teaches art classes for public schools in the city of São Paulo.
Stefano Vieceli: When did you realize you had artistic talent?
Paulo Zerbato: I always remember drawing, well before I started school. Even then I had a good understanding of design and proportions. I remember observing nature, animals, plants and people; and then trying to draw them on the ground in the yard! When I was six years old I remember how happy I was when my teacher praised my talent while showing my big colorful & very detailed drawing of different farm animals to the class. Later as an adolescent, (having been brought up in a Catholic family) I created illustrations for the celebration of Corpus Christi. The drawings depicted religious scenes & passages. I made copies of these small drawings (10X15 meters) to put up in the city streets. I began working with oil paints at the age of 18 when I attended university (around 1987) thanks the to encouragement of my professor.
Impossibility Of Communication
SV: How would you define your style?
Paulo Zerbato: I have a fascination with psychology, the Surrealist movement and Salvador Dali. My artwork follows this path of surrealism & psychology. I don’t have a definition or label for my “style.” [Symbolism, Surrealism, neo Reflectivism] I’ve honestly, yet to define it! (I’m aware it may seem utopian or naïve on my part, but it’s my message.)
The Evolution Of Peace
In Search Of The Soul
SV: Have you always know that you wanted to be an artist or was it a hobby? Do you feel you inherited your artistic talents from someone in your family?
Paulo Zerbato: My dream is to work exclusively creating, inventing, painting, drawing, experimenting with different materials and media. I’ve never considered my art as a hobby. So much so that from the beginning, and even today I do not see my work as “decorative.” I always try to incorporate my work’s “reflection” wanting to induce the viewer to question the subject that inspired me. Consequently I think, the subject matter is not always visually “nice” (Poverty, global issues, social inequalities, psychological defects, which lies in the human unconsciousness.)
My artistic talent was not “inherited” or encouraged by my family. Quite the contrary, I was very much criticized for wasting my time with an activity that has no financial return. Nobody ever gave me an incentive to improve my talent. Attending the School of Design, for example, was by my own efforts and by my own financing. Of course, I still have much to learn and I feel I need to improve a lot. Fortunately or unfortunately (I don’t know which is more appropriate) I have an uncontrollable compulsion to make art. Ideas are constantly emerging while at work, in my dreams, while at the movies or while reading books. I always have a pencil and pad with me. My ideas later turn into sketches and then eventually into art when they reach my paints!
Endless Ideas They Pour Through My Fingers
SV: Who are your three favorite artists and in which way have they inspired you?
Paulo Zerbato: First, and always it is Salvador Dalí! When I first saw his work, I thought, “That’s what I do!” I don’t copy Dali but I relate to his vision and style. What most struck me was the total freedom with which Salvador Dalí was able to express ideas without rules to materialize thoughts, nonsense, The SURREAL! I see these elements in my work, however additionally I try to incorporate current psychological themes. Second is M. C. Escher! His work had a significant impact, especially during the “Metamorphosis.” The logical, yet disappointingly incoherent optical illusions always fascinate me. Third and not least is H. R. Giger! Giger is truly about Surrealism and Futurism. Incredible fusion of the organic (human body) with the mechanic, and the robotic, all erotically charged; also the occultism! The innovation referring to aliens is purely inspirational! I know I’m supposed to say my three favorites, but I must also mention: Gustave Dore, William Blake, Francis Bacon, Victor Vasarely, Frank Frazetta, Damien Hirst, Ron Mueck, and many others!
Tree Of Dreams
SV: Do you remember how you felt when you sold your first art work?
Paulo Zerbato: I’ve not yet sold any of my art, haha! Some time ago, I gave some paintings to friends because I didn’t have room to store them properly at home. Currently my work is digital and I don’t plan on selling the matrix, but yes, I would sell digital copies! Eventually I feel that selling my paintings may be difficult for me. I consider my art like my children and I’m emotionally attached to them!
Idea in Images
SV: Did you attend an art school? Which one?
Paulo Zerbato: Besides the Teacher Training Arts Education, I never took a drawing or painting class. I have always been a self-taught artist.
The Birth Of The Symbolic Human Being
SV: What is your favorite medium?
Paulo Zerbato: Mixed Media! Mixing designs, with natural dyes and pigments (earth, coffee, tea, dyes, beer) then editing the work digitally. Adding light and shadow, different colors, contrast, image overlays, and others, then it’s actually MIXED!
SV: Where do you see yourself and your art in the next decade?
Paulo Zerbato: My personal aspirations aren’t modest, haha! First I’d like to dedicate myself exclusively to art. Diversifying works (sculptures, installations, artistic interventions, exhibitions, biennials and/or solo exhibitions.) I also want to illustrate books, illustrate materials or articles in newspapers and magazines. I have ideas for urban landscape and architectural projects, of course I’d need the proper sponsorship for these projects. My greatest stimulus is to create something new starting from an idea / thought / sentence. I really hope to continue creating forever!
Imposition Of Desires
SV: What kind of art would you like to do next? Something that you haven’t done yet?
Paulo Zerbato: Installations! By the way, I have a project in mind with objects of epic proportions! Just wait and see!
SV: If you closed your eyes and count to ten, and when you opened them you could be anywhere in the word at any time; where would you be and why?
Paulo Zerbato: It would be in the future and in New York City! For me New York is the inexhaustible center of new ideas and behaviors. New York is the center for culture, art, beauty, music, fashion and contemporary everything! At the same time I’d like point out that I wouldn’t be a mere spectator. I’d be part of the scene creating and adding something to it.
Stefano Vieceli abandoned a successful television production career to follow his passion for photography, fine arts, foreign languages, and travel. A proud New Yorker and lover of life & laughter!