Q&A with Artist Alice Quaresma

Alice Quaresma pushes the boundaries of photography through her ocean art. We're thrilled to highlight her incredible work and her love for the ocean.


Alice Quaresma was born in Brazil in 1985 and she currently lives in New York. Alice has in her curriculum a number of awards, special projects invitations and residency programs, including the renowned Foam Talent Prize in Amsterdam. Alice had her first art institution solo exhibition in 2018 after winning the Caixa Cultural national open call (São Paulo, Brazil). Alice already had her work published in major magazines, newspapers, and websites in Brazil, Japan, the US, and Europe. Alice got her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2009 and she was selected as one of PS122 Exhibition Prize winners during that same year. She participates in exhibitions and residency programs in the USA, Europe, and South America since 2006 and she is constantly looking for new opportunities. Alice has created commissioned projects for Hermès, Air France, Red Bull, Samsung, Première Vision, Unseen and Music from Memory. 


What inspires your work?

  • • Experimenting with materials that allow my photographs to be sensorial and playful, pushing the boundaries of photography as a flat surface.

  • • Exploring the ludic world of photography experimenting with the condition of a work in progress, bringing less rational qualities to my photographs.

  • • The Brazilian art movements “Neo-Concrete” has been a consistent source of inspiration in my work. Works using geometry and sensorial qualities were a constant in this art movement through performance, sculpture, and installation. In my work, I create lines, forms, and colors over photographs.

Ninho 76, 2018

Why are you drawn to utilizing the ocean in your art? Describe your process/

I use images from my personal photo archive to elaborate on the idea of displacement and identity. I use my fascination for the ocean as a symbol for a journey and a place of discovery. In history, the ocean has brought hope for new beginnings and discoveries to come. In my work, I have been photographing oceans around the world. As I grew up by the ocean in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it became I big part of who I am. The ocean has always been my place of escape and meditation. The painted lines over the images break the perfection of the camera and bring the beauty of the hand gesture to the foreground, the work questions photography’s rigid assertion of objectivity. A photograph is my departing point but never the final work.

Mental Object 11, 2018

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Touching people, making people feel part of the work. Creating a moment of connection. Encouraging young adults to pursue a creative career. Lately, being able to create murals outside of galleries, where anyone can see. Taking art to the people.

Ocean Line 4, 2018

Are there any past or upcoming exhibitions you're particularly proud of?

They are all special, but I am going to pick one of the shows I did this year, 2018, called “Horizon”: My first institution show in São Paulo, Brazil, at Caixa Cultural. It was special to take my work to the downtown area of São Paulo, the biggest city in my home country. There, most of the visitors are schools, bringing their kids and exposing art to them, for the first time. Because of the large size of the gallery I was able to play with different ways to explore photography beyond the print and let the kids interact with it. My goal for this show was to open the imagination of kids and adults, to make simple, so everyone can feel part of it.

Silent Mind, 2018

The oceans give us so much, how do you giveback to the oceans?

By being part of creative projects that support ocean causes.

What is your favorite place in the world to spend time near the ocean?

The place where I grew up, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Where I started to dream to become a traveler, to go and explore the world. To use my creativity.