Published  16/09/2014

Vânia Mignone: interview

Vânia Mignone: interview

In this conversation with Studio International about her first retrospective, titled Scenarios, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo, the painter Vânia Mignone explains her creative process, discloses her major influences, and tells us how she incorporates elements from her daily routine into her visual compositions

Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC-USP), Brazil
26 April – 30 November 2014

Interviewed by Caroline Menezes
Filmed by Jonattas Poltronieri and Danilo Carneiro
Original Music by Fabiano Marques

Mignone’s art practice emerges from the desire to reach people through visual language. It is a frank and open dialogue in which she never tires of learning about the diverse interpretations of onlookers. Her paintings are figurative, but far from realistic. It is easy to recognise the elements she introduces – human figures, furniture, decorative items – but the settings in which these elements are placed clearly originate from an artistic mind.

Furthermore, the artist adds to her paintings words or sentences that are included primarily because of their visual impact rather then their meaning. Mignone works with thick layers of acrylic paint and collage that also lend a certain physical quality to her images. She limits herself to just three or four solid colours, always bright and powerful, to instantly draw the public’s attention, as if her work were a billboard or signpost. From this first bewitching glimpse, Mignone’s paintings trigger the viewer’s imagination to create stories and tales out of her scenes.

This retrospective at the new building of the Museum of Contemporary Art presents around 60 artworks, which span more than 20 years of her career. The display starts from her first woodcuts to recent artworks in which she undertakes a laborious procedure of sticking sheets of paper to one another to form a texturised flat surface on which she will paint. The exhibition reminds us that painting is not only a technique or a medium, but can also be a way of understanding art.

Mignone, who was born in 1967 in Campinas in the state of São Paulo where she still lives, has studied ballet, advertising and fine arts. She has always drawn, but the starting point of her trajectory in visual arts was with woodcut, and traces of this technique can still be seen on the surface of her paintings. She has artworks in the collections of major museums in Brazil, including the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, and international ones such as the UBS Art Collection, in Switzerland. She participates extensively in individual and group shows in her country and abroad. 

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