Cover ~ Gothic Girl Art Magazine
Artist Interview~ Tatiana Santos
“My art is inspired by the underground culture, by music and especially by cinema. Directors like Tim Burton, Kubrick or Cronenberg give me ideas for photoshoots. We live in a world where everybody looks identical. Mainstream culture is no culture at all because it doesn’t stimulate our creativity and our individual differences”
Originally from Mozambique, now lives in Portugal
I left Mozambique real soon but the stories I’ve listened to are still present. The love for animals, the respect for nature are true and important paths for me. Being in Portugal was very important to be an alternative model. Portugal is a very conservative country. Soon I realized I wasn’t like everybody else. I listened to different kinds of music, appreciated other movies and didn’t like to wear the same clothing, the same makeup… of course I have to adjust here and adapt to my context. But being an alternative model allows me to be myself. My personas or the characters I create in every photoshoot are not masks but the opposite. I wear a mask every day but I can be myself when I’m an alternative model.
Gothic Girl Art Magazine~ How extreme is the mask that you put on every day to get through life in Portugal? Your clothes? How you act? How you speak?
TATIANA SANTOS~ Especially clothes. I act and speak always true to my inner nature. But the aesthetics must be adjusted. Just to give you an example: people with tattoos have a real complicated task in getting a job here, in Portugal. Tattoed workers, with degrees, PhDs and so on, must cover their tattoos to be accepted. Imagine if you go to a job interview in a Gothic Victorian outfit… the liberal workers have a little more freedom. Above all if they work behind a computer screen. But regular jobs are few and bosses are still very conservative about outfits, tattoos and piercings. We must lie in a daily basis.
Gothic Girl Art Magazine~ What seems to be their concern with people who have tattoos or dress differently?
TATIANA SANTOS~ We are a very judgmental country. In certain villages, women still dress all in black when someone dies, all covered like they used to dress in the 20’s or 30’s. We judge people by their looks. We think tattoos are an inmate style. We associate everything with drugs and burglars. In my case, I have 2 degrees and I’m doing a PhD on health psychology but if I show up with a Victorian dress or showing my tattoos I get an immediate “NO.”
Gothic Girl Art Magazine~ If you started your own company, what would you do differently?
TATIANA SANTOS~ I would choose my workers because of their skills, their know-how. All assets would be considered. And everybody would be able to work free, showing tattoos, piercings, dressing Victorian, pin up style… the goal is what matters, working all together to provide a good name for the company. no masks. just freedom
Gothic Girl Art Magazine~ Is there anything about you that you’d like people to know? Something that wouldn’t guess about you?
TATIANA SANTOS~ Well… when I say I just LOVE musicals everybody laughs. I cried my lungs out when I went to Her Majesty’s Theatre to see The Phantom of the Opera. I’m just do in love with musicals but we don’t have that tradition. 🙂 We have a director – La Feria – and he’s the only one that creates and adjusts musicals to our country. A couple of days ago I was saying… I wanna pick a flight and go to London just to watch the Phantom of the Opera again
I’m just * so (not do) in love
Photo used by permission