A deep love for Brazilian culture runs throughout the paintings of Talita Suassuna. Growing up in São Paulo, Suassuna listened to Brazilian music everyday. The rhythms of bossa nova, ijexá, and capoeira soon began to structure her artwork.
“Sambadarosa,” for example, is a unique, colorful piece inspired by the bossa nova song “Samba da Rosa” by Brazilian artist, poet, and composer Vinicius de Moraes.
“All the lace, flowers, and nature in ‘Sambadarosa’ symbolize women and female-related handicraft work and jobs,” Suassuna says. “I like to use bold and round shapes and mix it with straight lines and also drips to break up the art a little bit. Shapes, colors, and moods of songs and poems help create my art masterpieces.”
The other main inspiration for Suassuna’s art-making process is her family. “Motherhood certainly changes a woman’s life forever, and that’s when you truly understand the meaning of life,” she says.
The cycle of life and nature are a repeated subject in her artwork, appearing strongly in pieces such as “Waking Up 7,” which depicts the process by which a woman becomes a mother and nurtures her child.
After moving from Brazil to the United States, Suassuna continued pursuing her passion for art by taking art classes at UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts. After having taken a brief hiatus from college, Suassuna recently landed a merit scholarship from California College of the Arts.
“Art represents life to me and it keeps me focused, interested, and alive,” she says. “Making art is not just therapy but also a job and a necessity to keep me healthy and in balance.”
Isabella Ohlmeyer is a junior at San Francisco State University studying print journalism. A passionate journalist, she is currently a freelance writer for Tri-City Voice Newspaper and a summer Editorial Intern with Pleasanton Weekly.