Two days ago I visited the Fundación Telefonica, on Grand Via, and the exhibition of Helena Almeida "Tela Rosa Para Vestir", curated by Isabel de Carlos. Helena Almeida (b. 1934) is a contemporary artist from Lisboa, Portugual who's work seduced me from the get-go. Trained as a painter, Almeida's work dances between photography and painting. Somewhere in the late 60's she felt "the temptation to put the work 'on top' of [her]" and she did just that. She wore wore a canvas on her chest as one does a shirt and someone, perhaps her husband who is her often if not always the one who captures the image, took a picture.
All paintings are, in one sense or another, a self-portrait, a record of the one who painted. In Almeida's case, and here I speculate, that connection was not sufficient and so she flipped the table and combined mediums. The camera allows for formal studies of the body and for painting back into, or on top of, the image. These photo-paintings are, for me, the strongest, the punchiest, of the shown work and combine the strength of both mediums.
There are a number of works in which the artist is depicted interacting with black powder which takes the form of her shadow or that of something leaving her body.
"el dibujo en sí mismo no es suficiente. Inmediatamente tienes que entrar en otra dimensión, moverte hacia otra área de lenguaje artístico."
Drawing in itself is not sufficient. Immediately you have to enter into another dimention, to move yourself into another area of artistic language.