Adriana Scartaris is a professional who works as an interior designer in the creation of residential, commercial and corporate projects, with 36 years of experience and more than 323 thousand m2 of completed works throughout Brazil and abroad. He began his academic training at a young age, completing the first course in Interior Design at the Escola Panamericana de Arte e Design SP in 1978. In 1984, he completed the higher course in Industrial Design at the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado, FAAP/SP, then joined the plastic arts course at the same institution. In 1986, he completed a specialization in Illustration Applied to Industrial Design at Faculdade Santa Marcelina, FASM/SP. He also completed the Visual Arts course in the same year, and then began his career as a visual artist simultaneously.
He specialized in the History of Furniture Design in the year 1990 to have more control over the creation process within each style.
Since then, he has constantly participated in lectures, seminars, entrepreneurship courses, face-to-face and online training and, always looking to learn and closely monitor the biggest world events in the segment.
Tell us how this lifelong passion for the art world began.
I started working and thinking about art as a child. I've been drawing since I was five/six years old and I'm already 60 years old; It is a great pride to think that I have more than half a century of life touched by art. At age 6, the teacher called my mother to school — my mother was all worried thinking it was a complaint. “Put this girl to study because she's good at it” my teacher told my mother. This is the record I have of my beginnings as an artist. Then I had the opportunity to have several training courses and several different teaching proposals, in industrial design, interior design, visual arts, plastic arts. This was something that always ran parallel with my career. In fact, I have two careers that run in parallel: art and design, and curating. Five years ago I started the project Collective 284 and working with curatorship. I trained as a curator and started exercising more and more.
What are the most extraordinary points?
One of the most extraordinary points was in 1997, in São Paulo, when I had an exhibition with a series of my works, entitled “Urban Games”, where I created a large house, in which 1200 people were at the opening. This was the first moment I said “I am an artist”. I sold all the works that day! I didn't expect that result, especially with a work, which at that time, was not very accepted because it was very colorful. If I had any doubts about the work I had to follow, the doubt ended there. In my opinion, it was my starting point as an artist. Tell us about your experience as a curator.
I have another initial milestone as a curator, with the “Imperfeita” project. The first exhibition took place in Lisbon, in 2021. What is Imperfeita? What's the story? I was in the middle of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, very scared and scared, like all of us. I lead a group of artists here in Brazil, with around two thousand artists, in which I mentor many of them. At that moment, I realized that all the artists I had direct contact with were very scared and very sensitive. In my opinion, the artist suffered a lot during the pandemic, due to his profile as a person who is always wanting to understand the world better. There are people who deal a lot in making, but the artist deals with problems, thinking. I was also very scared and scared, on top of that my company, Coletivo 284, had less than six months to live. We opened in June 2019, but after a few months we started closing. So, the newly opened company, with a very high investment, and with an unconventional DNA, was at risk of closing.
So the possibility of that happening and losing everything got really big and it was really scary for me! To make matters worse, I was in Brazil and the company was in Portugal, that is, it had everything to go wrong. My partner and I even thought that maybe it wasn't possible, but we thought: “let's try to keep it”. In this scenario I stopped, looked at myself and asked: “What am I going to do? What can I create? How can I help the artists and keep my project going and then strengthen it?” I started looking for an understanding of what the turning point of this world would be. We were, in my opinion, living through the end times, and something needed to be done. I understood that it was because of the feminine energy, not necessarily the woman, but the feminine energy that exists in men as well — energy of reception, of thinking about the other, what we have to do for the world to be better. At that moment, what we really needed was to think about the other, because only by thinking about the other, would we be able to protect ourselves. This was very intense for me!
I went looking for a feminine energy in the world of the arts, which had a representation of resistance, strength and the ability to overcome. I remembered the Frida Kahlo and this was my hook. I proposed a contest to elect Brazilian artists to exhibit at my gallery in Portugal without even knowing if the gallery would even exist, but I thought let's go in parts! The project proposal, called “Imperfect”, wanted to demonstrate that imperfection makes people unique and that characteristics that are not considered standardized are a strength and not a defect. In the meantime, there was a proposal to use augmented reality, a technology that until then was not widely used. I also had the idea of creating the first interactive catalog. When I thought about the opening of the “imperfect”, I wanted it to happen in March, the month of women, but I couldn't, because we were still closed. In May, we put six thousand people in this gallery for thirty days, that is, almost 1% of the city's population and that for Lisbon is unthinkable! During that time, 90% of the works were all sold as well. Augmented reality was a success, and in terms of media, it was also far above expectations.
From then on, our agenda is closed until 2023. This was a turning point, a point as a curator, of managing a project at a very difficult time. This project was a possibility for some of the artists who participated to reinforce their inspiration, and seek strength. They managed to get through that difficult moment and had the opportunity to be on a project where their work was demonstrated. It was really amazing!
What is Collective 284?
We managed to explain the collective very well with the three numbers: 284.
TWO are two countries: Portugal and Brazil, OITO are eight creative journeys that go through Art, Events, Brand Activation, Design, Architecture, Communication, Interior Design and Marketing.
FOUR are the four pillars of support which are the Planet, Humanity, Connections and the Future. Our communication is committed to conveying our identity, the reason for our name and our purpose which is “284”. Today the world accepts who is multipotential. Previously, being multipotential was a defect, because all people and the market understood that whoever does one thing cannot do another well. And today it is completely the opposite! Whoever does one thing can and should do well whatever he wants.
What has been the most extraordinary project of theCollective 284?
In fact, all experiences are extraordinary! There is not one I can single out! I'll highlight a few to make it easier. Every year we create an event to support an association that does work within one of our pillars. Last year we worked with the Entremundos association that takes care of war refugees. There was still no war in Ukraine, they were focused on refugees from Afghanistan and they are still focused on refugees from various countries. The association proposed to provide the space for the launch of a book by the president of the Association. We received the proposal and accepted it. In the midst of this, an interesting thing happened, the president of the association, had on her cell phone some drawings of children and adolescents who were in the care of the association. They sent me two or three drawings, made in pencil, that dealt with the lives of those young people, very hard, sad and heavy. So I said, "I want sixty-three drawings by tomorrow." They sent me the drawings of three young people, the vast majority, and I joined my WhatsApp group, where there are around three hundred artists, and asked: “Who is interested in working on this project for an association that takes care of refugees?” In ten minutes I had twenty artists interested. We made a beautiful book called “Giving color to the dream”, the artists colored the children's works. That was a very beautiful connection! In a short time, I was able to trigger my connections and create a project.
For example, we have other situations in theCollective 284, as our proposal always permeates the mix of art and the activation of brands with marketing, we have also had, for example, an event of a car brand. This electric car has a footprint of awareness, even by the composition of the car. With this proposal we created an entire artistic project for the launch, bringing artists also to participate in this project. We also have a project underway to create wine labels and we are going to create an exhibition with artists who paint with wine. With this breadth of the project, I can't name one. All of them are incredible, each in their own way and that makes me very happy, because they all end up playing a very big role in our history. Now we have an exhibition in progress, with a Portuguese artist, well known outside Portugal. Many people believe he is American and not Portuguese! We also have an exhibition in our virtual gallery and coming soon to Metaverse.
Each project is a new passion. Each project has a different stimulus. They all have the same charm!
How has the experience of working in Portugal been?
At first I had, like anyone who is in the country that is not their home country, even though it is a sister country, with a sister language, some difficulty adapting. I'm from São Paulo and every paulistano has a great Portuguese friend or son of Portuguese people. In Portugal, not all people have a great Brazilian friend. So, I understand that people in Portugal, although there are many Brazilians in Portugal, do not have as close contact as here in São Paulo we have with the Portuguese. As a result, we often have to explain our way of being and our behavior. At first, because the project was very different, I had two questions: to explain myself as a Brazilian, to be able to use the language of Portuguese — it's a different language, a different culture. Second, to explain a project that is difficult to understand because it is so conceptual. Fortunately, these difficulties passed in a short time. Today I can express myself with tranquility and I think the market, for the most part, has already realized the “284 power”.
Which artists are you looking forward to working with?
In the proposal ofCollective 284 we always want to work with artists who are already well-established, and mix with early career artists, up-and-coming artists and artists we've discovered. This happened in the Imperfeita exhibition, there were two works, one by an artist who had already been in twenty biennials and the other with her first exhibition. What do I dream of working with? I dream of working with everyone! If I could resurrect an artist, I would like to meet theFrida Kahlo, but it doesn't. In practically a year and a half, Coletivo 284 has already produced exhibitions with sixty artists. By the end of the year, another twenty-five artists should go up. Next year, the proposal is even bigger because I'm going to enter the Metaverse and then the scale is much bigger.
Can you choose an exhibition that marked significant?
An exhibition that impressed me a lot was in Brazil more than twenty years ago, called rediscovery. This one commemorated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil and brought me an overview of the power of Brazilian art. I stayed seven hours to see everything because it was so big. It brought artists from all over Brazil considered artisans, alongside established artists.
At Coletivo 284, as curator, the first Imperfect exhibition, for having given rise to the project and the rest. Another exhibition that I like and that is on display now, of which I am co-curating, here in Brazil, is called art of traveling. It is an exhibition with thirty-five Brazilian and one Portuguese artists, which talks about any kind of journey, inside or outside, to a place or an idea. So, there are thirty-five works that portray this art of traveling. It is an exhibition that will tour several cities in Brazil. These are the three moments I like to highlight today. Tomorrow maybe there will be others.
What are the themes that should be discussed more in the art world?
I can't understand an artistic proposal that doesn't go through evolution in some way. I believe that any proposal, in any artistic language, has to be for evolution, whether for self-knowledge, for the protection of human life on the planet or even understanding consumption, human emotions. I believe that each artist, with their poetics, manages to touch on some theme or reflection that leads to evolution. It may seem very vague to say this, but it includes all artistic aspects and all artistic poetics. Another interesting topic that I have seen a lot today, for example, in large exhibitions in Brazil and at the Bienal de São Paulo, is the theme of Indigenous Art.
I also notice some great exhibitions and great artistic movements, which talk about the preservation of life on the planet. In some situations, I perceive artists and even brands that sponsor a little misguided. In my opinion, in this sense, because it is not about saving the planet, but saving human life itself. The planet will not die! We're not going to destroy the planet, we're going to destroy ourselves if we keep this up. The planet recovers and returns to its fullness, we don't. This is very dramatic, I realize that many artists begin to understand the meaning, taking the arrogance of man and showing the smallness of man in front of nature. This is a theme that artists can work on without being that apocalyptic thing, but something in the sense of raising awareness based on human emotions.
If I had to highlight themes that catch my attention, it would be the preservation of life on the planet, with various poetics and various paths, and human emotions. Currently, I believe that these are two themes that need to be widely debated.
In your opinion, who are the artists that are transforming the current art scene?
The street performers! They are the artists who have the most knowledge and who are prepared for adversity. As they are used to painting abroad, they know the problems and everything that happens on the streets, as they have a lot of contact with other people. Art is a very solitary pursuit, because the artist usually finds himself alone inside the studio. Street artists have more contact with others. This way, they can get their message and idea across faster. What rewards urban art artists is that everyone, from the most famous artist to the artist no one knows from a peripheral region, develops a social work. In my opinion, they are the most prepared right now!
What is your advice for young artists, curators, producers and other agents who are currently taking their first steps in this world?
Persist and work! The artist cannot forget that he is the representative of the brand itself. You cannot delegate to someone else who is 100% representative of his art. Of course, you must have a manager, so that the process is done with more quality, but you must know the entire process itself. It's a job with any other. Being an artist is a profession! There is no gift that comes from God or divine inspiration. Does not exist! Everything is work! So the advice is to study hard, work hard. When you find a poetic, a theme that makes sense to you, then dive in! You will have to face everything and everyone to secure this theme, because sometimes the theme is still “too early” for the market or the artist has not yet met the right people. You have to invest in poetry, it's no use for the artist to go into a branch that he doesn't believe in, but that matches people's homes, just to sell the work. When he does that, he's opening the doors of a prison, he doesn't come out of it anymore.
It is necessary to create meaning for the artist, because if you don't, the work alone dies in a short time. Then that's it; study hard, realize that it is a profession, that it is necessary to work and not everything comes from divine inspiration. This also applies to curators, as they also have to study a lot to have a minimum knowledge of the market, technology and the availability of work from other curators. Knowing what there is to promote and enhance your work, because without that work dies inside the studio, on the wall. Understand what these possibilities are for enhancing the dissemination and sale of work, finding partnerships with projects that are reliable and well-designed.
There are possibilities in the physical world and in the virtual world; so it's understanding and knowing all the tools available and surrounding yourself with other people who are competent. In my opinion, both the artist and the curator need to work hard, have knowledge, seek to understand new tools such as digital assets and get the right partnerships.
If you had the possibility to choose a work of art for your “personal collection”, which one would it be?
I would choose a scary work for myself, but I think it's amazing: The "Scream" (The Scream) by Edvard Munch. This work was very powerful and strong for me. I think that many people, as it is a work that they have seen so much, are not impressed by its potency. I had the privilege of seeing this work from fifty centimeters away, and I was paralyzed for a long time in front of this one to understand its potency. It was the work that moved me the most. I've seen Guernica by Pablo Picasso up close, Da Vinci's “Monalisa” and other works by several important Brazilian artists, but nothing left me in that state like Grito. If it were possible, I would like to have it, even if the emotion it causes me is not positive, but it is so strong!
Finally, which cultural events are you most looking forward to visiting in 2022?
This year, the Bienal de São Paulo was interesting. There are many immersive exhibitions in São Paulo, each with a different artist and all must be seen. In fact, whenever I get the opportunity, I go to an exhibition, whether it's a highly publicized mega-exhibition or an even smaller publicity exhibition. I think that for a curator and artist, it is important to see several different curatorship and exhibition proposals, because they manage to have a collection of information, where they can look for information there with a reference for the creation of a work. I'd really like to see it, but I don't think she's going to Portugal, an exhibition that exists in Mexico, at the museum ofFrida Kahlo. In the future, I would really like to see an exhibition of mine in the metaverse, in a virtual environment, with many people inside the gallery. In fact, I've done a few meetings in the metaverse and it's amazing. You are in the virtual space, which is very similar to the physical space with another poetics, in which the avatar may or may not look like you and can talk to other people as if you were at a party. I've already done tests in our metaverse gallery with four or five people, but I want to do it with two hundred, and see how it goes. The experience I want to have in the future is to see this in my gallery to test what I can do.