Mafalda Figueiredo (b.1991, Lisbon) is a figurative painter. She graduated from the Fine Arts University of Lisbon in 2013 and has subsequently worked in Berlin and London, where she is now based.
Coming from an artistic family, creativity has always been something intrinsic to Figueiredo’s persona. She was the first child and her family was always very loving but also very protective, which left her feeling constrained and observed. This incited within her a desire to create, in order to live the freedom she longed for, through drawings and paintings she produced obsessively.
These feelings were intensified in adolescence as the artist became increasingly aware of the gaze of the opposite gender, the objectification of that very look, and the need to either shield from it or accept it.
Struggling with anxiety, Figueiredo was always interested in intuition, self-analysis and self-observation and developed the belief that every involuntary idea that comes to mind has meaning and comes as a message from the subconscious. She interprets spontaneous ideas as one interprets dreams: through a process of signification, looking at the visual elements as symbols and decoding their meaning according to the context and experience of the dreamer.
Through figurative painting, Figueiredo attempts to project this thought process into images. She portrays figures looking out of the painting as if they are struck by the realization of being observed. She’s interested in transitioning states, constantly questioning where and when one moves from the position of object of observation to observer, and the imaginary time and space between these two states.
Recently, her work has been exhibited in Berlin and London and international art fairs such as Positions Berlin and Volta Basel. In March 2020, Figueiredo had her debut solo exhibition in the US.