Asides from being an artist, he has a degree in education and is passionate about the benefits art has in education. Patico is the artistic name of Francisco Alberto, born in Monforte, Alentejo in 1971 which he is strongly connected to.
Despite this, Patico has lived in Lagoa, Algarve, for 24 years, previously dedicating himself to the art school Escola das Artes Mestre Fernando Rodrigues in Lagoa for eight years but he had to sadly leave “I transformed that place into a cultural place for art and for both Portuguese and international communities and I gave my best to it.” Patico met me with an open heart at his art studio in Lagoa, where he has around 300 paintings. I found him an inspiring and motivational individual, in such a short space of time, so I can only imagine the privilege of those taught by him.
Patico is an impressive self-taught artist who is very versatile, he loves to draw, paint, write and shape clay, using various techniques to express himself. “I like to mix and use different materials like fabric, lace, clay, wood and paper and even sand and I incorporate my poetry (another part of me) into my paintings.” He has had his work exhibited in more than 100 exhibitions, both solo and collective and you may have seen his beautiful paintings of Lusitano horses or his jazz collection which he achieved through looking at photographs of famous artists whereby he has created an outstanding collection, filled with vibrancy. He is constantly evolving, more recently drawing faces and abstract pieces. He told me he spends about 60 percent of his time painting and drawing with the other 40 percent of the time he acts as representative at Lagoa Academico Clube where he supports young people in sports.
I urge you to visit Patico’s current exhibition entitled “Fernando Pessoa”, most fittingly opened on Portugal Day at the Biblioteca Municipal de Reguengos de Monsaraz (Évora), running until the 30 June, with its opening hours being 10am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 5:30pm. His paintings are phenomenal and capture all the different sides of this famous Portuguese figure. Patico also informed me that following the exhibition at the library, his paintings will move to Igreja Santiago in Monsaraz until the end of August, which Patico affirmed is a fantastic place. Patico revealed that “I have incorporated bits of poems onto those paintings which may surprise the viewer because they are my own poems and not Pessoa's.”
Patico went on to tell me about his strong connection to Fernando Pessoa, “he is an appealing figure to draw just like his drawings of Christ and over the years I have incorporated the life and work of Fernando Pessoa into my paintings. In terms of his writings, I know lines and I know extracts and I know enough to feel the emotions that his words have.”
Patico has also been writing poetry for many years and told me “My poetry is from my point of view and easy to read and have a romantic side to them but at the same time interventional and it focuses on my life. It is about being constantly in the Algarve but my thoughts and my heart are always in the Alentejo. Patico published a book of poems in Portuguese 10 years ago with his art called “ENTRE DUAS TERRAS – desenho, pintura e poesia de Patico” and has participated in poetry competitions at national level “which is just another part of what people know of me.”
He went on to explain “poetry is more complicated and everything we feel inside goes on the paper and then is interpreted. Painting also has moments of anger and moments of calm but it is more difficult to interpret what we are feeling at the moment.”
Patico then shared that he has a book waiting to be published that includes photographic documentation of his paintings which was done by his daughter. “The book is a mix of photos and short poems which readers will find the start of a poem in the middle and the end at the beginning so it is the deconstruction of poetry itself.”
Art and Mental Health
Patico shared how art has impacted his life positively and that he paints for himself and if people enjoy his work even better. “For me it is a form of maintaining focus in life and pushing us forward because life is full of injustices. He explained that art is good for those creating and how it increases our self-esteem and motivates us and also teaches us but generally speaking art is also important for the viewer.”
“I have seen first-hand the positive impact it has had on the adults and children I have worked with especially those with disabilities whether that be physical or mental. The freedom that art gives them is incredible and I saw how art and education are fundamental in the inclusion of people no matter what their difficulties are. Painting for me is fundamental to include people in society, to motivate themselves and forget their pain.”
Patico offers fantastic art lessons at his art space in Lagoa for both adults and children alike which is something he is very passionate about and is always happy to share his space with fellow artists or budding artists and share any of his artistic techniques so if this is something you have been looking for, please reach out to him.
I know Patico would really appreciate your support so if you would like to purchase any of his art and would like to see a full portfolio of his paintings, please contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively you can see photos of his work by visiting ‘Patico Arte’ on Facebook and reaching out to him on there. It is important to note that Patico also does commissions so if you see anything you would like please ask him for more information.