Working traditional stories and characters into playful figures is the hallmark of Catarina Glam: an artist born and raised in Lisbon, now based in Porto. Originally coming from a traditional graffiti background, she’s developed her work into murals and notably into 3D characters.
Catarina’s latest solo show is called “Capital Vices” and opened on 31st March at the Montana Gallery Barcelona. We sat down with the artist to talk about the origin of the figures she has brought to show in Barcelona.
You started painting in Lisbon, right? What were you painting back then?
I started painting with my all-girl crew in 2000. The OGA – Only Girls Allowed. Very old school. I mostly painted letters. Bombing. It was great. We had a lot of fun going out at night, up ladders, painting rooftops.
After that I began to make sculptures in paper and cardboard, before starting to work with wood. Around that time, I went back to producing public art.
I taught myself how to work with these different materials. I learn new techniques all the time.
“Every sculpture represents a demon that corresponds to a sin. In fact, there are eight pieces, because I added one to represent urban culture. So, it’s my personal twist.”
What media do you use right now?
Spray paint, enamel, varnish too. I always use a lot of spray paint. Inks for wood as well.
“Capital Vices” is a mixed media show, right?
The main work is concentrated in sculptures. There’s also a mural which compliments the exhibition.
“I started painting with my all-girl crew in 2000. The OGA – Only Girls Allowed. Very old school. I mostly painted letters. Bombing. It was great. We had a lot of fun going out at night, up ladders, painting rooftops.”
We see you’ve come to Barcelona with a small team to assist you.
Yep. Sara Banazol and Laura Almeida have organized the show and work in production of the project. Rodrigo Contra is my partner and has helped to paint the mural. Chikolaev is my photographer. I almost always work with assistants.
Is title of the show a reference to the seven deadly sins?
Exactly. Every sculpture represents a demon that corresponds to a sin. In fact, there are eight pieces, because I added one to represent urban culture. So, it’s my personal twist. It’s not a completely conventional interpretation.
Each piece is accompanied by a text that are fun to read. You have to read them to understand the whole story.
Which is your worst vice?
Mine is sloth. That’s why it’s represented in the biggest piece of the show: the mural.
You can see Capital Vices at the Montana Gallery Barcelona until 3rd June.
Read an interview with Montana Gallery Curator Anna Dimitrova here.
Catarina’s local Montana Shop is profiled in this article.