interview: tuco amalfi

︎Interview, Artist, Painting   
︎ Seth

"The mythology of my own life, the music, moments and feelings, are turned into images of my paintings..."
                               - Tuco Amalfi

Art of all styles and forms has always widened our senses. It allows us to open up our minds to think, feel, and broaden our spirituality to connect to something beyond our everyday materialistic lives. Although visionary art is categorized with some of the aforementioned adjectives to describe art in general, it's just "art." How we think and feel when we see a work of art will change person to person. Art does this to us where memories are either made or brought back to us. Feelings created or remembered. It can challenge us or just simply put a smile on our face.

What one person sees, hears or feels, typically differentiates itself from the next person. Our perceptions of reality doesn't come from a common knowledge base that is standard. We all come from different walks of life, we are all taught and learn in different ways, and we all have our own way of doing things and digesting information.

In this day and age of social media, adjectives to describe art has become our way to tag something in the hopes of getting some sort of exposure to what we post. It can get out of control, chaotic even, with people trying to describe any post, let alone a piece of art. People can describe their post in a sentence, only to follow it with what looks like a paragraph of hash-tagged words just for the sake of a "like." So it is understandable that the list of describing art can get heavily saturated beyond meaning. Is there anything wrong with that? No, that is just a small part of what art tries to achieve. Beyond our endless words and tags, art is just the opposite of being defined, it just wants you to feel something. As far as visionary art gets defined, it typically becomes limited in description that adheres it to certain techniques. There's a vision yes, but is it that broad of a vision? Or is it summed up in much simpler terms? What example of visionary art leads us to believe that the vision is broken down into a simple feeling?

Which brings us to Brazilian visionary artist Tuco Amalfi. His work over time has given him the label as a visionary artist. But what defines him as a visionary artist? He tends to paint with certain scenes of spirituality, adding mystical touches to landscapes, which brings out our internal subconsciousness outwards to be one word and one word only... "aware." Visionary art has always been associated at the forefront of ego-death, psychedelic experiences, or "opening the third-eye." For Amalfi, there's no need for countless words or genre defining terms.

We interviewed Amalfi to get an insight into his work and himself as a human being. All Amalfi wants to know is if you feel something from his work beyond where words can take you. His answers break down "visionary art" into a simple term... "to inspire." A humble man who simply paints "to inspire", guided by his spiritual experiences with God. A feeling he cannot explain, but only through the grace of his artistic ability he can show us these experiences, leaving us speechless for a moment until we are truly, and simply, inspired by his work.
SM: On your website you state that when you were a teenager, your perceptions of the beauty and mystery behind all things led you on a spiritual quest came from experimenting with psychedelic drugs. What was one experience during this time that really stood out to you? 
TA: "I had these perceptions since I was a child, but they get more intense in my teenage with psychedelics. One experience that I remember, was the real sensation of getting out of my body, and others things like visions in my mind and feelings of being one with the universe and perceiving all the beauty in everything. After this what really change my life was the books I read and my spiritual experiences in God."

SM: What do you hope people feel when they look at your art?
TA: "I want that people just feel my art, that's enough."

SM: What is your main inspiration when you are ready to paint a piece?
"My inspirations come from many sources like nature, praying, meditation, music. Sometimes my visions come from texts I read, sometimes the visions come after. I understand this meaning, then, I start drawing and painting."

SM: Your work is very peaceful and surreal. It's influenced by everything from messages of love to the cosmos, and everything in-between. What do you feel is the main message you want to achieve with your artwork?
TA: Many people say to me that they feel peace when they look to my paintings. I don't think my works are surreal. Just some of them. The main message I want to achieve with my art is to inspire and awake people to the spiritual life.

SM: You're very spiritual, as you have said that your true identity is your spirit. Do you believe in the afterlife? And if so, what do you think exists in the next journey of life after death?
TA: I think that the true identity of every one is the spirit, not the ego. I believe in eternal life, the spiritual life that you search here is what you will have in afterlife. Things that the senses don't perceive now, will be revealed after.

SM: Finally, what knowledge have you gained over time would you like to share with anyone trying to become an artist
in any field?

TA: Art is God's gift and should be a way to inspire people to spiritual evolution.

Further Reading ︎