by Helena Barbagelata Simoes Issue: Fall/Winter 2019 Special Issue on Margins

Artist's Statement

The thousands of fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest in Brazil are a human tragedy as well as an environmental one, that raises many questions on the conservancy of our primal bonds to nature, animals and ourselves. 'MYMBA', is a tupi-guarani word that refers to animals, indigenous groups hold a fundamentally different view of their relationship to the natural world, perceiving their existence as being within nature rather than our modern industrialized separation between humanity and other sentient beings. 

My work is an examination of the personal forms this worldview takes. I use expressionist portraiture to communicate meaning and the emotional experience of different subjects and their intrinsic relationship with animals, merging together human and non-human forms. Showcasing them is a way of raising awareness and respect for the natural world and our human roots.

Helena Barbagelata Simoes

Helena Barbagelata Simões (b 1991) is a fashion model and multidisciplinary visual artist who develops work in painting, illustration and photography. Her artworks combine mixed media, acrylics, ink and watercolor techniques. Helena is also a writer, political scientist, curator and columnist in several literary publications.