Jerusa Simone and women in surrealism

Coletivo Amarelo is constantly growing and we are proud to present another artist that will be part of our roster, Jerusa Simone. The Portuguese artist, who now lives in Zurich, has a unique perspective acquired throughout her life and expressed through her art. By trying to recreate memories and emotions, Jerusa's works dialogue with surrealism.

Meet Jerusa Simone, an artist who recreates moments and experiences through surrealism

Jerusa Simone's art is primarily based on her daily personal experiences, emotions and recurring memories. During her process, the artist often works from naive drawings that arise from abstract backgrounds detached from a pre-existing idea. In this way, Jerusa embraces painting as an act based on spontaneous movements and intuitive choices.

This origin of art in the subconscious and the attempt to recreate memories is directly linked to surrealism, expressed through her paintings. Her objects take shapes from subtlety and informal lines, forming human figures, reproducing familiar visual signs along with a certain strangeness.

In order to stimulate the viewer visually and intellectually, Jerusa's body of work consists of reconstructing the connection between symbols, meanings, colors and textures, regardless of the medium used.

Jerusa Simone is originally from the city of Porto, in Portugal, but now lives in Zurich, Switzerland. The artist has a degree in visual arts from the Escola Artística do Porto and the Accademia di Belli Arti di Roma.

In recent years, Jerusa has explored different forms of painting through video art. As a result, she got the opportunity to exhibit internationally in different contexts and places, such as Portugal, Italy, Saudi Arabia, England, Greece, Spain, the United States and, recently, in her home country, Switzerland.

Women and Surrealism

This year, the Venice Biennale held its 59th edition and, for the first time in 127 years, exhibited mostly female artists. In this edition, the Biennale addressed the mysteries of the human subconscious and its surrealisms from the perspective of female artists.

Curated by Italian Cecília Alemani, the exhibition explored themes that orbit the imagination of different realities, the universe of dreams and new perceptions about the meaning of being human. In addition, it interconnected the influence of technology in the creation of new beings and the rescue of our imagination as children.

The work of Jerusa, in turn, can be linked to the theme of the exhibition. This relationship is mainly marked by the artist's attempt to revisit memories through painting. By carrying out this memory exercise, the artist creates strange scenarios, but somewhat still familiar to the viewer.


Early Years, 2022

Following this trend of women in surrealism, Jerusa Simone plays with dreamlike scenarios in the midst of the confusing and intense times we are living.

To welcome her to Coletivo Amarelo and unite her unique vision with ours, we conducted an interview with the artist. Read an excerpt from our conversation and learn a little more about Jerusa Simone, a woman who uses her experiences to express herself.

Memórias de uma partida futura, 2020


Coletivo Amarelo: About the painting "Memories of a future departure", it is an interesting play with the words: "memory", being something that refers to a past, of something that has not yet happened, and the word "future". There is a certain attempt to manipulate time… tell us a little more about this work, what was the creative process behind it?

Jerusa Simone: Basically, that painting was made at a very specific moment of transition, I was in Italy, about to move to Switzerland. This feeling is very strange, but it was already known. A zone I already more or less knew I was going to face. Dealing with the scene of the new and the old, this duality. The painting is divided into two parts: the upper part with elements related to the Italian column. This almost obese body, which is inspired by the work of Lucien Freud. I looked at that body, and I wanted to bring this idea of ​​the beautiful and the ugly, and give back space to women, without hypersexualizing the female body, but bringing other bodies. I wanted to see myself represented. I've always had a lot of problems with myself, so looking at Freud's paintings, I thought: “Wow, this is grotesque, but so beautiful”. These marginalized bodies, almost a confrontation, force the viewer to look. And the body always has a red outline, and it's always in the corners, but it's always there. The position reflects that, this phase of change, of fear. It's a familiar place, but it's scary.

CA: Your work has a dreamlike quality, like when we wake up and the dream is very clear, and as time goes on, the details of the dream start to dissipate. And your work has this characteristic of a little blurry memory.How is it to make a painting that reflects your present moment, and after years, revisit that same painting and look at those memories, a little confused, with that dreamy quality? Something changed?

Jerusa Simone: Looking at it now, I can feel all my motivations, I remember all the elements that I put in, that I eliminated… and now I'm in the place I wanted to be when I made this painting. I have been in Switzerland for two years, but, in the meantime, I have overcome this fear of mine that was very present in this work. This element of putting your hand in the fire is something I use a lot, it's almost a self-portrait, I put myself in danger, but I can't help it. A self-sabotage, a scene of transition, of leaving something behind.

CA: This painting illustrates a personal transition event of yours, when you moved from one place to another and placed the elements that were present in that process. But as much as this was a specific part of your life, I can look at it and see myself there somehow, maybe in some transition I was, but I do it through someone else's dream. Almost as if I had visited someone else's dream. Do you think this is part of female surrealism?

Jerusa Simone: I had to discover this small niche (feminine surrealism), which is this game I play with various elements, this exchange of meanings of the elements that I use, and as time goes by and I accumulate new experiences, things go being erased and transformed. So my work operates almost like a puzzle.


Surroundings, 2022

Shop now Jerusa's exclusive works available in our store.