Tuesday 9 June 2015

Saudade ~ by Alex Lee

It's tempting to look at these details from a much larger work and to hear a disturbed eight year old child in an Art Therapy session saying, as he puts his paintbrush down, "This is a picture of Mummy and Daddy and me." Don't be fooled; work of this standard is not easy to execute. 

Given exposure and practice, eight-year-olds increasingly use detailed and realistic imagery in their artwork; however, children of this age don't have the skills of Abstract Expressionists like Francis Bacon or Willem de Kooning. Young children may attack their canvases with a vigorous gestural style, but they are unlikely to be expressing strong emotions in this way. Neither would they be using the skills of abstraction. 

So, you may not like these images but they're deceptively simple!  

Moving on...  I was intrigued by the title, Saudade, so I looked it ip on Wikipedia. It's "a word in Portuguese and Galician (from which it entered Spanish) that claims no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return."

Saudade was once described as "the love that remains after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being..."

"It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling."  

I, too, can feel this.


  1. These three images, painted by an eight year-old child are both disturbing and incredibly expressive. I also looked up the word 'saudade' to get the feel of it. If I use the meaning while looking at the three paintings, I get a feeling of inconsolable desolation. It's incredible that a small child could express his inner feelings and emotions with such force and adeptness.

  2. Er, no. These were not painted by an eight year old child, but by thirty-four year old man!!! I should have made myself clearer :(

  3. Araguacy sent to me a poetry Saudade, it was very nice one, she said that word express her feelings about us