Amsterdam International Art Fair 2017

Geometric Abstract Impressionist Artist Fino showing at the Amsterdam International Art Fair 2017


Artist Fino is a geometric abstract impressionist and a portrait painter, from Portugal currently living in Amsterdam. Fino spent the first 15 years of his career dedicated to stage arts and music, with painting and drawing as a constant presence. In 2014, he began dedicating his time exclusively to painting.

"My work is based on the following premise: chaos to order, instinct to reason, trial and error, dance, movement, gesture, color, poetry, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Mark! Repeat…"

A short film on Fino's approach can be found here.

What drives you? 

Beauty. Craftsmanship. The notion of the ephemeral and a constant need to learn, to challenge myself and feed my curiosity for the processes of creating something.  

What is your definition of art?

I don’t have a definition for art. I have a personal notion of beauty, of aesthetics and a wide range of feelings and I strongly believe it’s the gathering and balance between these elements and strong craftsmanship, a total dedication to the craft that creates the organic being that is a good work of art.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Music plays a major role in my approach to paint, because it embodies the same principles: rhythm, harmony, contrast, and rigor, balanced with freedom and storytelling. I always have music on the background when I start a piece, and I like to let the first passages to be influenced by it. Other source of inspiration include viewing works of other artists, spending time in nature or in the city, taking in the various sights and sounds and scents, and finally the images that come to mind from reading poetry and literature.

How do you deal with artist's block?

I don’t think I’ve ever had artist’s block. I’ve had good and bad days in the studio, but I show up for work everyday and paint.

Sometimes I’ll wander off to my guitar, or I’ll enjoy watching other people work, or sometimes a simple conversation with someone will get creativity regenerated.

Where do you see your art going in ten years?

Ten years is a long time, so I dare not to plan so far ahead. But I´d love to have the financial possibility to open an academy of arts for younger kids in my hometown to help create the underpainting of a brighter, more educated future in Portugal. I also see my theatrical universe becoming closer to the painting one. I had to completely break with the first for a while to reinvent myself. In the future I see myself bringing them together. But for now my future is drawn a day at a time in the Netherlands, and I love it here.

Can you tell us what you have going on right now?

Planning my big show in Oporto, Portugal for November, where I’ll present pieces from the past year, while creating two new shows for the USA for March 2018.  I’m also currently painting commissions for clients in Portugal while starting a new body of work to present to collectors, agents or galleries in Amsterdam in the coming year.

I´m also navigating the processes of self promotion, re-imagining a career after 15 years dedicated to the stage, and finding a voice and a recognizable style across different mediums and themes.  I am working to build relationships with galleries in two new countries, as we have recently relocated to the Netherlands from Portugal, and we often visit the USA.

In total, I am working to build  a coherent string of recognisable work and entering the gallery market and finding an agent.  

Can you tell us what your 'Before I Die' is?

Visit Africa, Japan, Iceland and Vietnam. Raise a family, plant a tree, continue painting.

I know my artwork is finished when…?

When aesthetically it feels balanced. I like to leave space for interpretation and dont like rendering too much. But like a baker or a carpenter, with experience comes the notion when a piece is ready and to not overwork it. It is something that requires time I believe, and a lot of bad paintings. Fortunately we’re painters, not surgeons, so if we screw up, no one dies.

Best Commissioned artwork ever done was…?

A 2x5m diptych for a private collector, with “Cosmos” as the base theme. I have also painted a couple of portraits I´m really proud of.

Which are your favorite artists?

There are so many. I have found comfort and knowledge in different aspects of so many different forms of art.

I love street art, having started in the streets myself as a performer, and I like paintings that carry that soulful freedom in it. But I also love craftsmanship and elegance so, art nouveaux and portraiture are amongst my favorite styles. And I love abstraction more and more everyday, so within these parameters I´d say Basquiat, Picasso, Klimt, Mucha, Rutenberg, Mann, Osamu Obi, Cesar Santos, Vhils, Van Gogh, Vermeer, Yoko Shimitzu, Rembrandt, and the list would go on. Sometimes my most cherished influences are from people I know personally - musicians and playwrights and actors or even sportsman, of which there are great artists also.

Best exhibition ever participated in…?

This will be my first group exhibit and I‘m honoured to be participating after just one month on arriving to Amsterdam. So I’d say this one.

I’ve mostly worked on commissions, but I’m really proud of the show I assembled in Portugal in 2015.  Fifteen paintings were shown in the beautiful main room of a 17th century palace right in the center of Oporto.  Each piece was illuminated individually with theatrical spot lights, making it appear that the paintings were floating in mid air. I do believe lighting plays a major role in a show of paintings, just as it has in theatre. Because it was held in the school where I studied theatre, it carried a great meaning for me. Plus, we did it in the same weekend as my wedding!

Greatest achievements so far…?

In my career has a painter, my greatest achievement was finding my own methodology and voice. I´ve done a few things I’m proud of artistically, but I’ll share that with you in a dinner conversation with some good food and wine.

Would love to exhibit my work in …

Anywhere with walls, some wine and cheese, good people and good lighting.

"My key objective is to become a more beautiful person" - Artist Maurice van Tilburg-Glimne tells about his artwork

I have always been passionate about drawing and creating my own world. The artworks I create are based on personal reflections, the desire for expressive painting and a drive to continuously reinvent myself by exploring new concepts and techniques. The conceptual reflections are useful to deal with challenges in my ‘other’ role as a senior manager in the financial services industry.

The Hidden Sacrifice concept that is displayed during AIAF is like many of my concepts part of my personal learning; my meaningful journey. It relates to my exploration of the relationship between humans and animals. Starting from a wonderment about the way animals and animal products are a normalised part of everyday consumption, I investigate drivers and patterns influencing my own and human behavior.

I use parchment as key material for the art works. Parchment has been the 'paper' used for some centuries now by monks and book copiers. Before actually starting the creation, I prepare the parchment in accordance with ancient rituals as described in religious literature. Once all preparation is done I paint, cut and burn the parchment until it has the right shape and form. The parchment objects are presented in ‘glass bell miniature worlds’, combined with other objects that were part of my journey.

Maurice van Tilburg -  Glimne Protective Mantles

Maurice van Tilburg -  Glimne Protective Mantles

What drives you? 

My key objective is to become a more beautiful person. I use experiences of frustration, pressure and stress as signals of where I could learn important things about myself. It triggers my journey to learn more by reflecting and researching and it materialises through the creation of art works.

What is your definition of art?

Art is both beauty and pity. It requires beauty as it is an aesthetic expression, where the artist uses craft to transform his or her feelings in appealing creations. But if art were only an appealing aesthetic effort to woo the audience it would be no more than good design. In order for it to be art it needs to be connected to the emotions, the ‘pain’ and the meaningful journey of the artist.

Nowadays distance between artist and audience is large, and development of art goes faster than the related knowledge of the art-lover. The question is if and how to bridge that increasing distance, especially when art aims to convey a certain message. This is why I wish to entice the viewer through my 'magic' objects, making them engage in an exploration to understand the meaning of the object. The stories of the objects are kept a secret to allow sufficient space for the viewer's imagination.

Where do you see your art going in ten years?

When looking forward some ten years I realise my challenge is to find a balance between my family, my demanding work life and finding time and focus to create art works. My art mentor Frederik Beerbaum told me that I should currently be in the most productive part of my life in terms of making art. So, as family should be most important I guess I need to either reduce the work part or focus for my art works on quality of work rather than quantity.

On the other end I make my art primarily for myself and therefore the key is that I keep working on concepts and addressing parts of me that could be more beautiful; and there are plenty… 

Maurice van Tilburg – Glimne Worn-out Horses

Maurice van Tilburg – Glimne Worn-out Horses

Best Commissioned artwork ever done was…?

For me the most relevant commissioned work were the first two works in the Hidden Sacrifice series. Art collectors Jan and Janny Maas had asked some 20 renowned Dutch modern artist to work with parchment, each resulting in unique pieces of art in their collection. They asked me to create an art work in the same series, which I happily accepted.

It brought me back to some of my family roots related to leather, my grandfather coming to The Netherlands to set up a leather factory as part of the family business. It made me study the elements of parchment crafts, the origin, and brought me to the Hidden Sacrifice theme.

After publishing about this concept I have received quite some interest, good critic feedbacks and it brought me exhibition opportunities; for example at Agora Gallery (Chelsea NYC). As parchment implies a very labor intense process I did not pursue at the time, until the AIAF opportunity came by. I picked up the concept and worked to create a new series that is now first exhibited in this art fair.

Maurice will be exhibiting his art at the Amsterdam International Art Fair 25-26 August 2017 at the Beurs van Berlage, as one of the selected artists.

Profile picture: ©Rob de Jong. Art work pictures: ©Ariane James