Bel & Vitor Azambuja

Visual Artist duo

Artist Statement – Bel & Vitor Azambuja

The dare of embroiding a painted canvas

There are distinct techniques and materials that, when joined, form something unusual, creative, beautiful, and full of meanings. Art makes this meeting possible. My wife Bel and I are artists. I paint and she embroiders.

It was with a daring spirt, that Bel, an embroiderer since childhood, proposed to embroider on one of my first landscape paintings.

I must admit I was apprehensive. Piercing a painted canvas seemed like sacrilege to me. But then I remembered Lucio Fontana, the eclectic artist who in 1958 using a stiletto, dared to tear a canvas of his, and thus opened new visions and paths in art, and I decided to allow myself to be carried away by Bel´s drive to create something that, for me, was unusual. We then started daring together.

The embroidered lines on the canvas run through the cracks created by the brushes. The faults left by the paint, while there is fury in the act of painting, offer different paths to creativity. It´s as if the union between these materials and gestures are writing a story with four hands. It is almost a dance on the canvas. The interventions open as tunes, whose music proposed by the subtlety of the interferences, guide us to moments of pure delight, revealing works of art full of meanings.

Bel & Vitor Azambuja

Entangled by Paint and Yarn

Bel and I are artists, married for more than twenty years, but it was only last year that we started producing art together. Bel found one of my small landscape paintings, and proposed an embroidery on it. Despite painting flowers for more than two decades, I knew the memories I kept from my travels would one day come to life on my paintings. I guess these memories were just waiting for Bel’s idea to start taking shape.

Allow me to go back in time so I can tell you a little bit about this merging of brushstrokes and crochet needles.

I learned how to draw and play piano at a very early age; at about the same time I learned how to read and write. My father was a prolific working artist, and I grew up in an environment where creativity was all around my household.

I never thought of painting and music as distinct arts, so much so that I can “see” music and “hear” painting on my canvases. The late Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky once attended a piano concert by Schoenberg in Munich, Germany. When he returned home, Kandinsky painted “Impression 3 (Concert).” In the following year, he published a book in which he described being inspired by musical theory and harmony while creating a painting. It is precisely in this way — thinking about this musical harmony — that I am inspired when I paint. The musical world that I love so much was little by little integrated into the shapes and colors of my paintings.

I like to spend hours contemplating the changing colors of the sky where I live, the waves on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, where I was born, and the movement of the foliage that dances along the wind in treetops. In the act of painting, I allow these memories to guide all my gestures.

Bel also started in the arts very early. Her grandmothers encouraged her to embroider, while her mother introduced her to photography. As a teenager, driven by her curiosity to discover and break new ground, Bel left to Europe to study photography and art history. She was a professional photographer when we got married in 2001. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, embroidery returned intensely to her life as an instinct for survival and mental sanity. At that time, to get closer to her mother, who lived far away, Bel sent her an embroidered family tree as a gift. The need to stay at home during the pandemic created an immense creativity laboratory, and the result was the daily discoveries of new embroideries and new possibilities.

“Embroidery was my great companion, a gift in this very difficult period of seclusion. I can’t quite describe exactly the intensity of this feeling, I just know it was magical. Life forced me to stop, stay quiet and centered, and not to freak out in this turbulence of emotions, I was reborn embroidering. Ideas do not stop sprouting, and the pleasure of discovery is daily,” she said.

Marriage in itself is already a challenge. So why not extend this challenge to the arts, bringing together different skills? One art entangled into the other. All together and mixed up.

Courage was the word embroidered on a small canvas. Courage defines our life. Embroidery with abstract shapes emerged from it, giving strength and intensity to paintings. Courage was the trigger for this boldness, this impetus that did not stop us.

Our creative process takes place as follows: I start by painting almost abstract shapes, but with the aim of creating environments, landscapes. When I finish painting, Bel and I start a new process together, which is to discuss how and where the embroidery comes in. I trace with a special pen the indication where Bel will embroider. We choose the colors and types of lines. Bel then begins the embroidery process. The magic happens.

We divide, add, multiply, create, accomplish, discover, get lost and find ourselves. For us, living in Brazil, surrounded by exuberant nature and a multitude of bright colors enhanced by an intense sun, nothing is more natural than to transport it to our works of art. In fact, this is our very existence as beings and artists.

Bel & Vitor Azambuja



Bel Azambuja

From: São Paulo – 1973
Lives and Works in Indaiatuba/SP – Brazil.
Graduated in social comunication, started to photograph
professionally after her first photography course in Montreux,
Switzerland. She has lived in several countries
(Switzerland, England, Italy and USA) always looking
for inspiration for her art. In March 2020,
in the pandemic of covid 19, Isabel resumed her
childhood practice with the threads and needles inherited
from her grandmothers. Since then she works with
free embroidery and embroiders every day. Her works are
already in some countries like Portugal, Belgium, and Canada.

Vitor Azambuja

From: Rio de Janeiro – 1966
Lives and Works in Indaiatuba/SP – Brazil.
Graduated in social comunication (publicity – art director)
and piano by the Brazilian Music Conservatory.
Self-taught painter. He began to draw very early observing
his father, also art director and artist.
He has works in important collections in New York,
California, Portugal, Miami, London, Copenhagen,
Turkey, Colombia and Brazil.


2023: Davis Gallery – (individual) – Copenhagen
2023: Red Gate Gallery (group show) – Rio de Janeiro
2023: CarnaViews – Triplex Gallery (group show) – Rio de Janeiro
2018: Flower Power (individual) – Brazilian Engraving Gallery
2015: Panor’ almas 1 (group show) – Paris
2015: A2 Gallery (group show) – Vale das Viteiras, Rio de Janeiro.
2014: Between flowers and between lines (group show) – Vila Nova – Gallery – SP
2014: Gallery 212 (group show) – Miami – Coletiva
2013: Vila Nova Gallery – The Gestural Garden (individual) – SP
2008: Contemporary Brazilian Art – 18 proposals Murilo Castro Gallery (group show) – Minas Gerais
2007: Tina Zappoli Gallery. “Terra adentro” (group show) – POA
2007: The art of art directors – POP Gallery (group show) – SP
2007: SP Arte
2006: SP Arte
2005: Tina Zappoli (group show) – POA
2005: Chaple Art Show (group show) – SP
2005: SP Arte
2005: Berenice Arvani Gallery (individual) – SP
2003: Agora Gallery (group show) – New York – USA
1987: Elisa Godoy Gallery (individual) – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
1987: Exhibition at A.B.D. (winners)
1987: Brazilian Drawing Association – Silver medal
1985: University Gama Filho (group show) – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil