Helena Almeida, ‘NEGRO ESPESSO’, 1981, Galeria Mário Sequeira

About Helena Almeida

Helena Almeida’s black-and-white photographs of herself depict performances and various actions inflicted upon canvases, color, and other art objects. Inspired by the Neo-Concrete movement in Brazil, Almeida experiments with ways of shattering the confines of a canvases and pushing color into three dimensions. She paints vibrant colors onto many of her photographs, and attaches objects to others, forcing the depicted events into dialogue with the surface and transforming the past action or performance into something perpetually ongoing and present. For her best known series “Study for Inner Improvement” (1977), Almeida altered photographs of herself so that she appeared to be manipulating blue paint on the surface of the photographs. In her most famous photograph from the series she seems to be eating the blue paint, a symbolic gesture of domination over a color reminiscent of Yves Klein’s trademark International Klein Blue.

Portuguese, b. 1934, Lisbon, Portugal