ANA VELEZ WAS BORN IN LISBON [PORTUGAL], IN 1982. SHE LIVES AND WORKS IN LISBON AND MADRID [SPAIN].
Ana Velez has participated in several solo and group exhibitions at the institutional level, but also in collective projects of urban art.
In her work she has established drawing as a directional tool, inquiring about its multiple material possibilities, which led her to develop her work also in the public space. There she made a series of pictorial interventions on damaged or already vanished buildings.
She addresses themes that go around the concept of identity, based on three ideas: place, memory and body, highlighting place as the container of memory and identity.
She is co-founder and active member of Vazarte, a multidisciplinary collective dedicated to creating reflective art projects, art spaces and urban art creations. In 2015, she also co-founded Atelier Contencioso with three other artists, with whom she shares a workspace and authorship of the artistic interventions at Rio Maravilha [Lisbon, Portugal] and the installations Mamba-de-Jameson, on the facade of Pensão Amor [Lisbon, Portugal], and Das Dez ao Meio-Dia [Óbidos, Portugal].
Her work is part of several institutional and private collections, both national and international.
I mostly work with the mediums of drawing and painting, addressing themes that go around the concept of identity, based on three concepts: place, memory and body, highlighting place as the container of memory and identity. Initially the work that I develop is about observation; considering that the creative process is closely linked to the visual process, the ability to see and the ability to make judgments about things. I dopted drawing because of its ability to represent primary and elementary characteristics. It has a mythical status associated with being the first and most immediate way to create images, the intimacy, informality, immediacy, subjectivity, memory and narrative. I believe that to draw and paint forms part of our relationship with our physical environment, engraving in it the presence of the human. Is the means by which we are able to understand and create, and to relate to what surrounds us by leaving marks that testimony our passage. We literally draw in the material world. Marc Augé’s investigation about places and non-places is central to my work. As is Maurice Halbwachs studies on memory and collective memory, and research by Francesco Careri about walking as a means of intervention and perception of the urban space.
The object of my study is located in the city. The city, whilst being an architectural element, is also understood as an instrument of memory, entering directly into the definition of collective memory according to Halbwachs, as one that relies on images of places, architectural spaces of the city and the architectural landscape. The study of the city is developed by using the body and the movement of my steps as a tool of thinking and knowledge, as I venture through streets, canals, trails and hidden spaces, seeking to read the past and convert it into a contemporary interpretation. My artworks are presented through a single view of what every human can absorb when «existing», which, «is present» in a place with History and, simultaneously, the future. The construction of an individual’s identity is supported by the reality that one conceives when merging with the environment within which they are surrounded, and is therefore the formulation of memories from places we have (re)visited giving true access to the “I” of each of us, that is, from what we once were.