Grab your Passaportes, we’re hopping on a Lazy Airways flight to Lisbon to go see our mate and latest collaborator, Ricardo Passaporte. We’ve been big fans of Ricardo’s since we spied his work depicting Lidl’s shopping bags a few years ago. And then once he shifted focus to our favourite subject ever, dogs, we were absolutely sold. So we reached out asking Ricardo to collab, and now a year or so later here we are launching the seven-piece collaborative capsule collection. Whilst visiting Ricardo’s hometown of Lisbon to shoot the collection, we took some time to have five pastel de natas and a chat with him, about art, life and Lidl.
STUDIO TOUR WITH RICARDO PASSAPORTE
Hey Ricardo, how are you?
I’m good, thank you! The sun is shining, and in Lisbon we’re about to have a huge festival for Saint Antonio. So the city will be a huge mess. I won’t be partying though, it’s too much for me.
Will you tell us where you are right now?
I’m in my studio right now. It’s in a really great location - close to the river and the centre of the city, but still not discovered by tourists. So I’m not going to say where it is. It’s a real hidden gem.
How would you describe your art style?
It’s so difficult to explain it in one word…or three. I’ve thought about it of course, but it’s really hard to put a name to it. I think mostly it’s naive. There’s a real naivety to my work.
How did you first get started as an artist?
Half my family on my father’s side are in art-related fields - my great grandfather was a photographer and my grandfather was a painter…so I was definitely driven by that side of my family. And when I was growing up I was always writing on the walls, and I think that’s where my interest in making art first started.
We love your work surrounding Lidl - they’ve got the best bargains. What’s your favourite supermarket to shop in?
Definitely Lidl. And also Aldi.
What made you shift your focus to animals in your more recent works?
I just love animals. And when I’m creating stuff and choosing a subject I really need to like the thing I’m painting and enjoy the feeling that it brings. With animals, and dogs in particular, I love them all, so it’s quite easy for me to paint them.
Do you have any pets of your own?
Of course, I have two dogs. They’re called Rosa and Babar, like the elephant. But she’s a chihuahua, so a bit smaller than an elephant.
What’s your favourite medium to work with?
At the moment I’m doing a lot of paintings with just acrylic, and no spray paint. But to be honest the medium I feel most comfortable working with is spray paint. It feels really natural for me to work in spray. Sometimes I mix the two, but I definitely prefer just working with spray paint.
We’re so excited to be bringing out this collaborative apparel collection with you. Is this the first time you’ve seen your work on clothing?
Yes! It’s the first time I’ve had it in a capsule collection. But I actually have a masters in fashion design. I loved working in fashion, but with art I feel more free to explore and experiment.
Do you have a favourite piece?
I love all of them, but the Poodle shirt is my favourite. Also the pants, they’re so nice.
What does your work space look like?
It’s a bit of a mess, to be honest, because I have everything here I need to produce my work.
What’s your favourite thing to listen to whilst you’re creating art?
I listen to a lot of Creole rap, from Portugal, Cape Verde and other countries where the Creole has a Portuguese base.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Honestly, in Lisbon. I love this city. But if not Lisbon then Los Angeles. I think for the art scene, Los Angeles would be better for me than Lisbon is. There’s more opportunity and people there that are interested in talking about art. I can’t drive though, so LA might be a bit tricky, but I love the city because within one hour of travel you have so many different landscapes, climates and places to see.
Who are some artists who inspire you?
They’re always changing year by year. So it’s really hard to give a list, but the artists that inspire me the most are usually the outsider artists that are doing something different to the well-known contemporary artists. For instance Forrest Bess I really like, Bill Traylor too. They both really inspire me.
What’s next for you? Any secrets you can tell us about what’s coming up for you?
Right now I’m finishing a project and I’m going to present a solo booth at the Kiaf art fair in Seoul with the gallery, Duarte Sequeira from Braga. It’s in September. It’s all new work and I’m really proud of it.