Milenna C. Saraiva is a Brazilian visual artist who lives and works in São Paulo.
Graduated in 2004 from Santa Monica College, in Los Angeles, with a degree in Fine Arts. Was selected by the faculty to be part of a residency program called The Mentor Program, where she studied painting with Linda Lopes, Nathan Ota, Mark Trujillo, Sharon Kagan and Ron Davis. In 2012 Milenna attended University FAAP (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado) São Paulo, in Brazil and earned a Post Graduation Degree in Contemporary Painting.
The artist has been showing her artwork regularly since 2002 in galleries and museums all over the USA, Canada and Brazil, including The Bergamont Station, The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Katzen Museum in Washington DC, The Peach Gallery in Toronto and Casa Galeria in São Paulo. Since 2014 she writes a monthly column about art called “Art Observed” for Circuito, a variety magazine from São Paulo.
Known for her brooding and evocative paintings, for Saraiva, the portrait is not about capturing an external likeness of a subject, but rather creating a portal to the inner journey of self exploration. She relies principally on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination. Her current series of portraits explore concepts relating to the construction and deconstruction of the identity – a process that attempts to re-consider the conventions of figurative painting through a continued pursuit toward abstraction. In the over ten years that she has practiced as a full-time artist, Milenna’s techniques have evolved from tightly wrought pencil drawings into the looser, layered surfaces of her present work. With her quick, almost brutal splashes of the palette knife, and through blending, building, edging, detailing and scraping off painterly layers, her imagery is textured and richly hued, conveying both complexity and raw emotion.
Photography by Luiz Campos - www.luizcampos.co.uk
“Art is the language of my thoughts. I find it easier to paint than to use words. The lights, the darks, the layers of depth that comes from playing with textures and colours, they all give me a freedom that I cannot find in Portuguese or English. Painting is my quiet way of expressing my heritage and questioning social values. My work has become a tool for me to narrate my life experiences in parables. The paintings I make reflect my personal mythology.”