American Brazilian artist Hugo Auler, Jr. was born in 1961 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Thanks to his father’s role as a famous Brazilian art critic with his own newspaper column “Atelier,” Hugo was able to explore his artistic capabilities at a young age, participating in different vernissages and art exhibitions.
This gave Hugo a lot of inspiration that emerged later in his life when he was already living in Los Angeles.
He is an autodidact who likes to explore colors and textures, drawing inspiration from life situations, people, and nature.
Hugo is a polyglot, has a Master’s degree in International Economics, and for the last 30 years, he has dedicated his time to working in the travel industry.
Always involved in sports, Hugo has a large number of marathons, triathlons, and 3 Ironman races under his belt.
Hi Hugo! Tell us a few words about yourself. What does a typical day look like? Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture?
Hugo: First of all, I would like to thank 123 Art Magazine for this opportunity to express myself and to show my art to the world. I’ve been working for more than 30 years in the travel industry in the United States, showing the beauty of this country to visitors from all around the world. 2020 pandemic year put my business on hold; therefore, I dedicated myself totally to art that I love so dearly. So much free time allowed me to reflect on the process of creation, painting and expressing myself into the canvas in a way that represents my life. I realized that painting is a part of me and that I cannot live without it.
You say you’re drawing inspiration from life situations, people, and nature. Is there a message you are trying to send, or is it something else?
Hugo: Drawing inspiration from life situations, people, and nature is my way to work and connect to the world through my art. I am always looking for inspiration, in nature, cities, getting the energy from people on the streets, in meetings, friendly dinners, and sometimes in the complicated world to swallow that is politics.
We artists have an obligation to our followers, to our fans. We live in a world that is changing by the minute. We are all connected through the internet, news, scientific information, political decisions, and fake news.
Thru our art, we have to send a message, a message of truth, that climate change is real, science is real, that we have to preserve our forests, oceans, animal life, and we have to look out for each other. We have no planet B. And in general, in our society as a whole, we have to understand that black lives matter, no human is illegal, all genders are beloved, women’s rights are humans rights, integrity is sexy, and LOVE is LOVE.
Who are a few artists/people that really inspire you right now, and why?
Hugo: I was involved with art from an early age. My father was a very famous art critic in Brazil, with a weekly column in the newspaper called Atelier. He was attending different vernissages and museum expositions and took me on that beautiful journey. Therefore, he exposed me to many influential artists in and out of the country. Seeing some of them in my living room being interviewed by my father or seeing their canvas in my house was a unique experience of my childhood. Van Gough, Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Mondrian, Portinari, Athos Bulcão, Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila do Amaral, and Uragami were some of those who influenced me the most.
You are also heavily involved in sports, with a large number of marathons, triathlons, and 3 Ironman races. Tell us a bit more about that. And do you think that doing sport helps with creativity?
Hugo: I was born in Brazil, we love sports there, it’s in our blood. It has been a strong part of my life. After moving from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles, I got in love with running. After 25 marathons, I decided to go into triathlons. It became my passion; I love to swim, I love to bike, and I love to run. Why not combine everything and enjoy. In 12 years of competition, I competed in many Olympic distances triathlons and then Half Ironman competitions and finally the Ironman (3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bike, 42.2 km run). Very challenging but so satisfying when you get to the finish line. I don’t compete anymore, but I keep moving; you can see me on the bike or in the pool. With the COVID-19 situation, my wife and I decided to use our gap year and enjoy life in Croatia, Germany, Spain, and now Portugal, where we combine the bike rides, ocean swims, and the wonderful nature that Europe offers.
I believe sport is an excellent and vital part of life. You have to keep your body and your mind in good condition to keep up with everyday life. Sports will take the stress out of your mind. It will rejuvenate your soul. It will give you inspiration for your work.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Hugo: Well, art is my therapy. When I am painting, I disconnect from the world; it is just me, the canvas, colors, music, and creativity. Most of the time, I have an idea about the process of painting, how it is going to be, and the outcome. And it all goes smoothly. Other times I have a plan, but in the end, the outcome is entirely different from what I thought it would be. The surprise is also a fantastic thing in the process. But sometimes, it is more challenging; I have to really concentrate, focus, detach, and let the imagination take over. And that’s a beautiful and powerful moment as well.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Hugo: My art has evolved in how I paint and which technique I use. I am always looking for new ways to paint and bring new and exciting ideas to the canvas. New techniques bring experience, and most of the time, every work done will be better than the other.
Share some interesting facts about your art with us.
Hugo: My art is usually spontaneous, happy, fun, and colorful, seldom it is dark and introspective, and sometimes it is both. As I mentioned before, I get inspired by nature, people, and situations. Therefore, it goes with the flow, with my state of mind, energy around, intuition, and a desire to see what comes next.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Hugo: It is always good to see and hear the reaction of the people looking at my art. When they can see the paint’s nuances on the canvas, the texture, and the shades that it has with different lights, their response to my art comes spontaneously. For me seeing their expression of those feelings is a very rewarding and valuable moment.
From the artist’s point of view, we always want to hear good things about our work. But we value a lot the constructive criticism from curators, art critics, and friends. It is always inspiring and enriching. It helps us to look wider and outside our comfort zone.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Hugo: When we look at the past, artists had limited ways to promote themselves: through an art gallery, vernissages, and a good critic at the local newspaper. Nowadays, it is much easier to expose your art through the internet – the website, social media, internet galleries, virtual expositions. You have a way to reach millions of people in a fraction of a second, showing your latest work to the world.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Hugo: With the new world situation, lockdowns, quarantine, and social distance, I am always looking for new opportunities to show my work differently. For now, we will have two presentations in Italy:
M.A.D.S. Gallery Milano – FABLE Art Exhibition – from December 4 to December 18, 2020
Contemporary Venice 2020 – ItsLiquid International Art Show – from December 17, 2020, to January 15, 2021
What’s next for you?
Hugo: The travel industry will come back to the United States in 2021 and I am looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am spending more time with my family in our quiet place, the Algarve region in Portugal, a beautiful, inspiring place on earth. Now I have more time to create, and I am thrilled to be devoted so entirely to painting.
That is exactly how I envision my future, dividing my year in half, spending summers in the United States and winters in Portugal, enjoying the beauty of both countries, and getting inspiration for my art.
Always thinking positive, enjoying the process of searching for perfection that we will never reach.