Portuguese artist Catarina Botelho graduated in painting at the Faculdade de Belas-Artes in Lisbon, and since then has specialised in photography, producing strong, beautiful, and carefully composed images that are both intimate and familiar. Much of her work demonstrates her background in paint; The Time and Manner series, for example, features boldly coloured objects set against tiled backdrops that seem to reference pale, differently textured canvases. Her domestic interiors also demonstrate a keen affection for light and colour, where differently toned walls and fabrics are skillfully employed in the make-up of each scene.
Much of her subject matter appears to revolve around very personal, yet universally human matters, such as sleeping, waking, dressing, and washing; the Time and Manner series were taken at bath houses in Istanbul and focus on what the artist calls “prime objects”, or the first objects made by human hands, which, though they are now made of plastic instead of clay, have not changed much at all.
Her other works look at home environments and day-to-day activity, and seem to record and highlight the preciousness of moments that might rarely be reflected upon. Looking at those cosily curled-up figures and the blurry-eyed, forced wakefulness of the ones getting up, we sense that we are being shown something primitive about how we operate; in one way, these are shots of private lives, but they simultaneously pinpoint internal, sanctuary-like environments that we can all relate to.
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