Joana Vasconcelos | Fortune favours the bold

Joana Vasconcelos is one of Portugal’s greatest living artists. In order to find out more about her, FULLCOVER met Joana at her workshop by the Tagus river. Well known for her honesty and vivacity, Joana explained about the new trails she’s blazing and how she’s coped with the challenges of the art world, much like the Portuguese during the Age of Discovery when ships sailed from the Tagus in search of the unknown, exploring new worlds.

Joana Vasconcelos | Fortune favours the bold

Breaking into the art world

Joana was born in Paris on 8 November 1971 to Portuguese immigrants who returned to Portugal after the revolution of April 1974. She studied at António Arroio Art School and then Arco Lisbon - the Arts and Visual Communication centre.

In 1996 Joana held her first exhibition ‘More Time, Less History’ (Mais Tempo, Menos História), organised by the Serralves Museum in Oporto, showing her public installation, Trianons. Joana’s work was shown internationally in 2005, when she entered the Venice Biennale with her piece, ‘The Bride’ (A Noiva).

In 2012, she was invited to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles in Paris, becoming the first woman and youngest artist to present pieces in this privileged setting. The following year, Joana returned to the Venice Biennale representing Portugal with an ambitious project, a cacilheiro boat (passenger ferries that sail between the banks of the Tagus) which she converted into a floating pavilion.

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