Rui Matos

Руй Матуш

Rui Matos was born in 1959. From 1980 to 1987 he studied the art of sculptor in Lisbon, where he soon became the best and most promising student. It was evident as early as beginning of 90s that Matos is a new revelation in art. Nowadays his works can be found in Portugal and across Europe. In 2022 a huge retrospective of his works was organized in Tavira, including two of his main creations “The Sequences of Days” and “Heavy Silences”; and in Lisbon that consisted of 34 works, each corresponding to one year of his creative life.


A sculptor both works with reality and creates his own reality at the same time. Rui Matos states: “Each sculpture is the creation of a new being, the memories of which returned to me as a result of the transformation of memory.” Thus, through the prism of these transformations we contemplate the artist’s imaginary worlds and his “archetypal” memory of the distant past.


In the process of creating his works, Rui Matos models memories because they are associated with the brightest side of existence, the inner reality of each person, and perhaps that is why they are revealed as something more intimate and mysterious. The artist paints sculptures with thin, graceful lines, like elegant architectural notes, whispering about the mystery of all things. He dissects, takes apart, deforms and changes — then collects the fragments and creates a new being.


According to Matos, sculpture forms a close relationship between idea and material. For several years now he has been creating objects from steel. For a long time he has been experimenting with oxidized and painted metal, which became his main raw material after ten years of experiments with clay, stone and synthetic resin. “In recent years I have worked almost exclusively in iron, because I feel that this material best reflects my art vision and my ideas”, — he says, adding that he was greatly influenced by Russian constructivism with sculpture being its highlight and metal being one of the most expressive materials.


“All my acquired knowledge, all my life experience, all the sensations and feelings I had cannot directly and rationally generate a work of art. However, all this, after being temporarily forgotten, reappears when the idea of a new sculpture unexpectedly arises. The idea is always the same, to breathe a breath of life, energy and spirituality into a cold and amorphous matter. Transform matter into a new being. Art is not just form and design is not just function. They are our affective connection to the world we inhabit. Artists carry an ancestral culture with them, but at the same time fully live their time”, — says the artist.