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If art is understood as any kind of work that creates an emotional response in people, then he creates masterpieces. His work not only consists in cutting pages from old and random books, but also in creating pieces with optical illusions and full of profoundness. He has the potential to create ridiculous scenarios by finding images that fit together. He calls himself a professional eater and a chronic drinker. I call him a professional collage creator and a chronic artist. I introduce you to Nuno Ferreira.
Who is Nuno Ferreira?
A professional eater and a chronic drinker.
What is art for you?
This might be a huge cliché, but it can be anything you want – Chris Burden disappeared for three days and people call it art. I have this annoying habit of pointing at random things wherever I am and call it art. Seriously, though, for me personally, any kind of work that creates an emotional response from people, whatever it might be, can be called art.
When did you start becoming an illustrator?
I started out with collages in my early teens, and did it for a few years just for fun. My main source of material at the time came from stacks of magazines I had around my room that I used to buy when I was younger. I stopped working on it and only came back to it in my early twenties when I found a box full of books and encyclopaedias from the ‘70s and ‘80s that had no practical use. I got seriously into it for a few months and started posting some work online. Fast forward a few years and I’m still going at it.

Why collage? What do you like the most about this kind of artistic expression?
I like the re-appropriation and re-contextualization aspect of it. It has become second nature for me to take a book and see if I can find any content to work with, especially with old books, which most likely would be thrown into the trash or forever closed.
What do you want to show with your collages?
Something that I’ve realized after making my collages –other than doing it consciously– is that people get confused with what is glued and what is not, they don’t get to see how the images were before they became a collage. I find it intriguing. I like that tricky aspect of it.
What is the creative process like when creating your works?
It always involves hours and hours of being around books looking for pictures. I usually start with a concept and see what kind of material I have that I can work with. Finishing a collage can take days, but I’ve had some situations where I accidentally find two or three images laying around together and I get an idea from it.

You made a piece by playing with optimal and optical Illusions – I find this type of work both powerful and playful. What difficulties did you face when creating this kind of collages?
Finding images that fit together is always my main issue. Since I do it all manually and don’t edit them afterwards, it’s hard to create those illusions. There are never too many books because I always need more options of images to work with.
What is the piece or project you are the most proud of?
Probably Rosário – the one with the couple kissing behind a mountain. It’s probably been three years since I made it, and I still love it – it was the first collage I specifically made for someone. It was a really effortless collage.
An artist you admire? Who were the ones that inspired you?
I’ve been really inspired by the work of Ellsworth Kelly. I find his take on colour and shape really mesmerizing. Besides him, I’m also a huge fan of Matisse’s collage works. I also recommend the works of Jesse Treece, Anthony Zinonos and Richard Vergez, all of them great collage illustrators.
I especially like your collages from Hypnopompia. What was your inspiration to create them?
The collages for Hypnopompia came up while collaborating with my friend and illustrator Frederico Pompeu. We came up with the idea of the collages for the cover not being related to its content, which is mostly about male erotica photography. I wanted these collages to have a visual impact and make the magazine stand out. It was a nice change from what I usually do, since these collages are all very full and noisy, different from my other works.
In your bio you said you take ridiculousness very seriously. Can you explain that?
First of all, I really mean what I said, but I do not take it seriously. Part of my love for collages comes from their endlessness and their potential to create ridiculous scenarios. The collage I made of the giant woman coming out of a hole holding a baby reflects that – it’s a ridiculous scenario.
Upcoming projects or ideas?
I bought a book last week by a celebrity hairdresser from the ‘80s, and it has all these black and white portraits of famous women with hairstyles from back then. I haven’t worked with it yet, but I’m very excited to start.

Mabel Ortega

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