Helena Almeida (Lisbon, 1934 -), daughter of sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida (1898 - 1975) is a leading contemporary Portuguese artists. Her work includes painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, sound and video but since the 1970s photography has been a central element. Although she always uses herself as her model, she insists that her images are not self-portraits. In her photographs she assumes positions that she has painstakingly choreographed in order to create complex visual compositions that are about space and line, as well as the relationship between the artist and the image.
‘I consider myself a painter. I studied painting and my works, as far as I’m concerned, are paintings. It’s my way of painting’
‘To live the experience of black was an experience of expansion in an uncontrollable live space. It was as if my inner self had fled to the extremities of my body and finding no further refuge, left, branching out and spreading over an indeterminate exterior'
‘We look at the body and see that it ends abruptly at the feet and hands... why do I end there and begin here? Why am I tied to this form, why am I isolated in this way?’
‘I turn myself into a drawing. My body as a drawing, myself as my own work’
‘The image of my body is not an image. I’m not producing a spectacle. I’m making a painting’