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Return to Lisboa

After a few very hectic weeks of preparation, I arrived in Lisbon to continue working face-to-face with Belén. On my first studio visit this trip we developed a game plan to best use my limited time in Portugal effectively for our project. From reviewing files, organizing journals, and taking additional principal photography for documentation purposes, I had my work cut out for me. However, being able to work in person with Belén has made the objectives easier to complete in our day-to-day. All this work is leading up to an artist interview, conducted by myself, which will be a large component of our archive. 

Image: A rare quiet moment in Belén's Studio Garden. We enjoy some Portuguese espresso before devising a game plan for our short time together.

While working in her studio has been an eye-opening experience, seeing Belén work in the outside world was pure magic. My first day back happened to be the starting date of ARCO Lisboa. After a day in the studio, Belén graciously invited me to tag along to the opening reception. She forgot to inform me that she also had work in the show, and it was my first time seeing her finished pieces in person. While this experience was special in its own right, seeing Belén interacting with the art world was something to behold. We wouldn’t be longer than five minutes before someone would stop her and have a congratulatory and flattering conversation with her. I would later recall this to her, comparing myself to a child watching and waiting patiently for their mother to finish their conversations with their friends. It was at this art fair I witnessed the celebrity of the artist, and realized again how lucky I was to be working with her. 

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