Selected private commissions from 2013 onwards.

As quatro Estações (Four Seasons) | 2019 | ink on paper | 84.1 x 59.4 cm | private collection

I decided to name this piece As quatro Estações (The Four Seasons), and the work represent the cycles of the seasons of the year, thus alluding the totality of life and the necessity of each of these cycles in the composition of life. I wanted here to demonstrate that not only Spring, which is considered the most joyful and abundant of the seasons of the year, should be celebrated.

Thus, making a relation with the events of life and the nuances and complexity that make up the experience that each one of us experience. After all, spring could not exist without the cold of winter. Each plant that blooms in the spring, must first cross the adversities of winter for it to occur. According to Greek mythology, when Demeter is happy and nature flourishes: it is the time of spring and summer. But when Persephone has to return to Hades, Demeter plunges again into the greatest sorrow: autumn then begins, winter then comes, and desolation in nature. This painting is a homage to my family and people who I love, infused with meaning this work is a celebration of my life.

Detail of Dionysius (Oxóssi) and The Three Moirai - Clotho (Nanã Buruke), Lachesis (Exu) and Atropos (Obaluauê). The Moirai represent me and my sisters, Samantha as Clotho (Nanã Buruke) and Camila as Atropos (Obaluauê). Eu sou o Exu.

The choice of the deities has a relation especially with Nietzsche’s ideas of acceptance and individual suppuration and somewhat is a celebration of my life and adversities I went through. In the idea of Amor Fati, described by Nietzsche, where he states that we must love our fate, which is our life. By doing so, we would walk away from feelings of resentment and instead would be aware that everything we go through in life builds us up and contributes to encompass who we are in the present.

Therefore, the chosen deities are inspired in the Gods from the Greek mythology stories and also in the Orixás from Umbanda. Umbanda is a Brazilian folk religion combining elements of macumba, Roman Catholicism, and the practices of indigenous peoples of South America.

Detail of Gaea (Oxalá) and Rhea (Obá). 

Detail of Rhea (Obá) representing my mother, Iris (Oxumaré) representing my dearest friend Rodrigo and my father as Helios (Oxum).

The concept of Amor Fati has been linked to Epictetus. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control and we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. “It is not what happens to us, but how we react to it is what matters.” (epictetus) All those ideas makes of us protagonists in our own life and not merely passive subjects of causality. “First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.” (Epictetus).

The Unicorn and its Garden | 2017 | ink on paper | 59.4 x 84.1 cm | private collection

My idea was to make a modernized interpretation of the famous medieval tapestry The Unicorn in Captivity ( 1495-1505). In the briefing for this piece, it was demonstrated by my clients a desire for historical and contextual elements in the artwork, therefore I chose this ethereal tapestry from the Renaissance period.

The unicorn stands proudly in the middle of the paper, and the fences and shackles seen in the original don’t appear here as I wanted to allude to the idea of freedom and wildness that relates to the mysterious creature that it is. Likewise in the painting, I will cover the whole background with hundreds of hidden English flowers and animals, with the most various meanings such as prosperity and development.

Detail of The Unicorn and its Garden.

Detail of The Unicorn and its Garden.

The tree behind the unicorn is The Mulberry Tree in Preacher’s Court, known as the Queen’s mulberry tree, which is the feature of a long-standing tradition. I will go to the location to take pictures of the tree and other features of the historical building.

Finally, I believe this piece achieved the expected outcome, as symbolizes abundance and growth. The work is very clear from a distance as the white unicorn comes alive in the busy surroundings and from closer inspection, the drawing is a delight to the viewer, who is hoped to become overwhelmed by the details and intense dedication. The drawing has around 800 flowers, animals and objects that carry a lot of symbolism within. The Unicorn and its Garden thrive for greatness and good fortune, being this way a fantastic addition to their existing collection.

The Birth of Venus in Modern Times | 2015 | ink on paper | 59.4 x 84.1 cm

The Birth of Venus in Modern Times is my modernised interpretation of the famous Renaissance painting by Sandro Botticelli. In Botticelli’s original Venus is received by Zephyrus, Greek God of the West Wind,carrying the nymph Chloris, on her left. To her right, Pomona, the Roman Goddess of Fruitful Abundance, or a Grace, awaits with a cloak at the ready to cover her nakedness.

It is a painting that has been interpreted and dissected time & time again in art history, with varying interpretations between Greek & Roman gods & goddesses, and underlying symbolism – therefore I felt freedom to develop it my own way, selecting deities I relate to, that reflect best my home country of Brazil, and that reflect todays world: hostile, selfish and depreciated. I thus contradict the traditional meaning of the original painting, which represents purer connotations & virtues.

I worked throughout two years and as this work has been in progress for many months, I naturally developed ideas as I progressed. I chose these particular mythological deities as I believe they best represent the problems in a Brazil & more generally todays developing world.

Detail of Neptune and Minerva.

A blindfolded Minerva, whose intelligent gaze normally penetrates darkness & obscurity, represents the disinterest in todays society to learn and better oneself as wisdom today is a rare and undervalued thing. My portrayal of Minerva was influenced by the anti-corruption riots & protests in Brazil during 2013. The powerful Neptune, the most intolerant and aggressive of the gods, points his trident at Venus as he charges on an equestrian wave towards her – a hostile reception into the new world.

Detail of Venus.

Like in the original, my Venus is born in a scallop shell, generated by the foam of the sea, as she is pure, innocent; but the immediate world she encounters is a harsh one and everything around her is different, nevertheless she radiates and maintains her innocence.

Elsewhere, roses float in from the left-hand side of the page, on a long lost breeze from where Zephyr once was. A fractured, modern skyline creates a foreboding backdrop torn between the heavens & space, day & night. In addition to what I have mentioned, there is additional symbolism in the accompanying elements – the dead fish & the animals ro mention only a few.

  Detail of Ceres.

Ceres, represents the rich natural bounty of the earth, in a world with so much hunger. Her basket full of fruits and wheat dress, was inspired by Sarah Burton`s first collection for Alexander McQueen in the 2011, where you could see models walking with pheasant feathers, butterfly dresses and wheat- inspired corsets and dresses. Similarly I drew inspiration form the dress of Pomona – decorated in cornflowers – Centaurea cyanus.

She is likewise the mother of the Roman Proserpina, the Greek Persephone – whose abduction & reoccurring imprisonment by Hades is representative of the earths natural cycle of seasons - life, death & rebirth – themes that permeate my oeuvre. All-in-all, I have aimed to create a work full of allegory and interpretable symbolism, like the much discussed & debated original, which contains far more substance than first meets the eye.

I was similarly influenced by the poem, Serene Goddess, by the Brazilian poet Cruz e Souza. This poem describes the woman as a divine being, triumphant and hardy, beautiful yet deadly and painful.

”Spiritualizing Beauty
She was generated in the impassive stars, Goddess of all Biblical forms, flexible,
from the perfumes’ of grace and tenderness. (...)
(...) She comes from the constellations, beyond the blue of the Orient, To succeed wonderfully,
From the painful and deadly beauty. ”


PINDORAMA EXISTE E RESISTE. All rights reserved to Sabrina Collares, 2021.