“… for saying ‘egg’ as I say ‘love’; with astonishment and love; with contemplation. Whoever knows how to contemplate an egg will know how to contemplate a smile.”

–Clarice Lispector

I believe in love. I stand for love as a foundation, as a way of life, as a commitment. And the possibility of this fundamental love emerges – as Clarice Lispector suggests- from ways of seeing… The astonishment that is only made possible by contemplation.


I am convinced that resistance through art can achieve a transformative sensory, emotional and mental re-education —individually and collectively. In this way I am an eternal idealist: I find a way to align my creative projects with this vision, and I will keep insisting on it. If we don´t do it ourselves, who will?


I believe in painting as a way to honour perception through colour. Colour is mystic and powerful, and playing with it is an alchemical process. My colours are decided in the working process: there is no plan. Rather, the flow of the composition and my sensibility towards different gradients inform an almost musical process dominated by instinct and feeling: sometimes harmonic, sometimes dissonant. At the same time, the brush, light, colour, texture and my hands are the tools that keep me present.


I paint because it keeps me in the present; I paint because I can; I paint because it is meditative; I paint because it is healing; I paint because it allows me to escape; I paint because I am more myself; I paint because it is my language; I paint because it brings me closer to my essence; I paint because it is my way of affirming the importance of contemplation; and because it gives me a raison d’être.

Because I think this is my way of resisting.

María Portilla (1988)

Colourist, painter and restorer. Co-Founder, of Mexico’s Street Paper Mi Valedor: independent magazine sold by vulnerable people in Mexico City.

Maria Portilla. All rights reserved.