Spending a morning with a Brazilian artist with connections to Charlotte is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro.
Renato Meziat went to Charlotte in 2013 for an individual exhibition at McColl Fine Art. He fell in love with the city and, after talking to his daughter Luiza, they both decided that pursuing a degree in Charlotte was a great opportunity for her career. They searched for a good college and they found this small campus in Myers Park, called Queens University of Charlotte. It seemed like the perfect fit for Luiza and by the next fall, Charlotte became her new home.
Renato Meziat is an extraordinary painter. He is a master of illusions and his paintings make the observer believe that what they see actually exists. By taking a closer look to his paintings, it is really hard to believe that he is a self-taught artist. “I have never studied art nor participated in groups of artist.”
Influenced by the realism of Velasquez and Caravaggio, Meziat created his own unique version of realism. “Some call it hyperrealism or photorealism or contemporary realism.” The main characteristic is that he takes common objects and puts them together until he finds the perfect arrangement. A simple object turns into something more sophisticated and, by taking a closer look into his paintings, it is obvious that nothing is left to chance in his compositions. The objects, lights and shades are put together so that the observer can admire the final result.
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“It doesn’t matter too much if it is a flower or a paper. I am looking for colors and shapes and how they work together.”
Meziat doesn’t want to make people think. He wants to make paintings so beautiful that when people see them, they can’t think of anything else. “I am not trying to say anything, it is about feelings and emotions. That is what I am trying to communicate, exactly what I cannot explain in words, that is why I paint. Otherwise I would write a book.”
Meziat was born to be an artist. He first went to the US to study music at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston. When he returned to Brazil, with the help of his father, he started painting and realized that he was extremely talented. As a result, he decided to switch his focus away from music to completely dedicate himself to the paintings. However, he found that being an artist is really hard and you have to be really passionate in order to become successful.
“Being an artist is a difficult way of life for everyone, unless you are very successful but before you get the success, you have to struggle a lot. So if you are an artist, you have no choice. You are not going to do anything else, you just want to do your art, as hard as it can be.”
Meziat talked about the influence that Europe and US had on Brazilian art. However, he likes to paint the Brazilian way so, especially in his latest work, he introduced Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches. “When I was young, my backyard was the beach and that’s why these elements of beach and sea are being part of my current work.”
His still life paintings have already become valued acquisitions to important private collectors and have been successfully sold at several auctions. Right now, his paintings are in private collections in Europe, South, and North America. His impressive talent and sensibility for details made him a successful artist around the world.
Queens in Rio project
Connor Keith, Carlotta Nassi, and Patrick Willard make up Team Flamengo, named for one of the most successful soccer teams in Brazil. Connor is a communication major from Tega Cay, S.C. Carlotta is a communication and sports management major from Livorno, Italy. Patrick is a communication major from Greensboro, N.C.