Shortly after the birth of Sofia Areal, a painter and renowned essayist, wrote a book that gave me much food for thought "bothersome Painting", the painter was Lima de Freitas (1927 - 1998) and the book was inserted in the neorealist polemic against abstract painting but it was much more than that. The Father of Sofia, a great artist, António Santiago Areal (1934 -1978), was always a man worried both in his being and in his work, voluntarily provocative so many times, even though with a constant formal precision.
Sofia Areal was born in 1960, belongs to a generation that grew mostly what I have called 'carefree figuration "in the 80s, a term I thought far more effective than the imported bad painting term; that was the way of appearing publicly for a generation which would unfold into different, even contrasting works and paths.
Sofia Areal transformed this start into a very intense poetic, why? Because, SIM, as she told us in an exhibition with that name.
The painting, drawing, decorative arts, grow as natural objects from gestures that are part of a support, works that are like flowers and fruits and balls to play, they describe the best in the world, that a great poet, Ruy Belo (1933 - 1978), described as the "land of happiness", from which, long and worriedly he said goodbye.
There is something profoundly feminine in this unconcerned and yes way to live, in Sofia Areal's making there is something necessarily instinctive and vital, one would say she has, in her painting and the rest, the "mão verde' that certain people have for plants and animals.
In disenchanted times as are the ones we live at the moment, Sofia Areal's works are a festive presence and emphasize the joy as an indispensable component of life, convenient painting? No! Living painting, that makes us say that, after all, this world is worth it; because SIM!
José-Luis Porfírio | Arco do Cego, 20th May 2015