Interview – Roberta Mestieri – Brasil


When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?

I was always an artistic child, I attended art classes during my high school, but when I was a teenager, I felt a lot of pressure and expectations from me so I decided to take a step back and start doing theater. I also had a lot of family problems during my teenage years.

What inspires you the most and which medium do you prefer?

I think what inspires me most are the people, the psychological and the complex issues of human being. Although I am interested in various media, painting is my favorite field. My mother was an art teacher.

What is the story behind your art?

I make art because it is a necessity for me, I have to make art, in one way or in another. My work was developed initially on the female body, and it became the body of painting itself. My work has a lot of material and is usually very visceral. I don’t like to control everything at work, I hope it comes up and sometimes and it just doesn’t happen, what it is really frustrating.  I don’t have a previous view of work before I start. As Picasso said, “if you know exactly what you are going to do, what is the good in doing it?” I often cry while I paint. There is a lot of pain, but also joy in this process.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of in your career?

I feel something special about every single thing I did, like exhibitions and projects. I think I had a lot of luck on my way. In Brazil there is a very talented painter and art teacher named Paulo Pasta, who follows the work of several artists. In this process I met super talented artists and we always met to discuss art and created the group “Quartas”.  We held several exhibitions together and I am very proud to be part of this group. The exhibitions are really incredible, we have a gigantic connection and we communicate daily and discuss our work together.

You lived in Berlin. How is being Brazilian in Europe?

I think that one of my few qualities is not having problems with changes and adapting to new situations. Both cities, Sao Paulo and Berlin are large, multicultural, and effervescent cities. That’s what interests me the most. Of course, I noticed the way European men look at Brazilian women, who is normally hyper-sexualized in the carnival and beaches. It is a prejudice, but I try not to stick to that negative side and whenever it is possible to question this kind of behavior.

 How did you decide to come to Belgrade? What are your impressions?

I think Belgrade is a really important city and love meeting new people, new environments, especially in a big city as a capital. I am really impressed by the contrast between the old city and the new buildings and constructions. It is like two different cities. People are really friendly and open.

Can you compare it to both Germany and Brazil?

I think Belgrade is more like São Paulo than Berlin. People are more open, the rules are not so strict, there is a kind of chaos in Belgrade that I like a lot!

 What would you say to artists who wish to come to Belgrade?

Come! It is a really interesting city and the studio is great and very well located!

 What do you hope for in future?

I hope to continue doing my job as honestly as possible. And that is already a lot …