We had the good fortune of connecting with Fredone Fone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fredone, why did you pursue a creative career?
Because I found something that fills some gaps in my life: something that often I name as art. Actually, it is too much more than art. It is my struggle, my cause, the “place” where I have some autonomy, where I can dream, where I have possibilities to speak, to protest, and, sometimes to be heard and seen as human. In the same time I can make some money doing what I’m doing. Before to work with art I had worked as a bricklayer’s mate, together with my father. Also I worked as a warehouse assistant in a big construction company.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My main work is based on painting, but I also work with some other languages: installation, sound, collage, rap, design, performance. In fact I’m always trying to find possibilities to build – through my practices – a safe place to speak, to be heard, to live. A place to stay alive. Talking about paintings. I call these my paintings as house painting, wall painting, building painting, all according to which kind of surface I use to paint. Why do I call it that? As I worked with my father building, painting, and reforming houses where I grew up. Working on it I have learned about the painting. As an artist I’m still using those tools, materials and techniques I have used helping my father. To build my name, to be someone recognized outside my neighborhood, to still work making art, it wasn’t easy. At the same time I was helping my father during the week, I was saving money to buy paint to do my graffiti on the street on the weekends. I never went to an academy. It really can be an obstacle for a professional, and being an artist isn’t outside of it, mainly because in the academy you connect yourself with people who are working – and people who will work – in different areas, much beyond art. Few folks from my age, from my neighborhood, could ingress in the academy. So I went to a lot of artists’ lectures, exhibitions, and courses about different subjects that were of my interests, to learn and to connect with people. I really learned I need to work a lot, to make good contacts, to make very good working, and be surrounded by people who want to see my progress. At the same time I really need to share my knowledge with people who haven’t the same access as me, principaly people who have the same similar histories and backgrounds that I have. I’m really convinced we have to support each other to amplify our voices! My work talks about how people who work on the civil construction are excluded, and how these workers – that in Brazil mostly of them are black people – are pushed again to the favelas and the peripheral areas where they live. I’ve been a painter since I was kid, I’ve been doing paintings since I was kid. So, I can, or not, consider myself a painter artist. My painting can, or not, be considered art. I really like to play with these words and their meanings. I grew up in a poor and “invisible” neighborhood, far from the downtown, where people are still fighting to realize their dream to get their own house, so through graffiti I started to write my name on the city. I’ve been building my name this way since I started to sign my nickname on the streets using a spray can. I’m a constructor guy who decided to sign on my “work”, the walls of the city, the same city I have participated in the building process, putting my hands and feet on the concrete, meanwhile I was working as a bricklayer’s mate.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are here some touristic places to visit. Ok if you want to visit these places, that could also, but I really want to talk about non-tourist places. To me, these are the best places to meet people, to know more about one city, to know more about the local culture. And, why not, to have a fun. I, always when I’m guesting with friends, invite them to visit the neighborhood, where I grew up, called Serra Dourada, to feel it, to visit a street market, to drink sugar cane juice, to eat pastel, to see people playing soccer. Near there, there are two beaches. I don’t know how to swim, but I always go there when I’m guessing people: Jacaraipe and Manguinhos. I recommend a bit of a touristic place, on the periphery, called Ilha das Caieiras. There you can see a beautiful sunset, and if you eat fish or/and shrimp you can eat a Moqueca. A traditional local dish made with tomato sauce. Don’t worry, if you are vegetarian, like me, you can eat Moqueca de Banana (stew with banana). These dishes are accompanied by rice. And, if you have time, you should visit the Mestre Álvaro mountain. One of the highest coastal elevations (plateau) on the Brazilian coast, which means 833 meters high. It is situated in my city, Serra.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents: Cida Franco and Adão D’avila. Who else: My daugthers: Pâmelly, Stefany e Letícia; my sister: Caísa Franco; my partner: Joana Quiroga. Hip-Hip, Racionais MCs, Suspeitos na Mira, Joana Quiroga, Luiz C. D. Melo, Regina Murad.
Other: Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fredone-fone Pinterest: https://br.pinterest.com/fredonefone Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/fredonefone