Marilia Elstrodt’s Biography

Full name: Marilia Perugini Elstrodt
Born on April 17th, 1963, in São Paulo, Brazil.
Italian and Brazilian descendant.

Marilia started her artistic career later than usual. She completed her formal studies in Business Administration and, after working for a few years in the area, realized that she was not pursuing her soul’s true wish for Beauty and Creation.

At 34 years old, she understood that she had to look at her original talents and work from there. She took an informal course in painting on wood and was fascinated by the colors of the paints, the touch of the brushes, and all the magic involved in dealing with these materials. She was convinced, however, that she could not draw and that it would be essential to learn it. She then pursued different teaching methods on drawing styles, such as using the right side of the brain, drawing nudes in studios and others. However, by drawing through observation, one perceives the world from the outside, whereas Marilia’s passion lies in perceiving the world from within. And thus, she discovered her own style.

Desenho com caneta e lápis colorido sobre papel preto

Drawing on paper

She took formal painting classes that explored different materials and methods, as well as History of Occidental Art classes, in private institutions in Brazil. Mainly, however, she worked with and learned from artists. This shared experience was very important to understand how each artist needs to find his or her own way of expressing himself (herself) with truth.

Her first paintings were more figurative in appearance, but very abstract in meaning. The inspiration came from a source within her that she couldn´t comprehend so well in the beginning. Many times the paintings were rejected; people often looked at her art searching for something they knew already, something they could comprehend and classify. Soon she understood that, if she wanted to be true to her art, she would have to close her ears to the public for some time and dedicate herself on developing, nurturing and building an Art of the Soul. From this moment on she called herself a “Silent Artist”.

“Woman – Part IV” – Oil on canvas – 0.80m x 0.80m

She liked to paint alone, in hers or in other artists’ studios, such as Carlos de Sa and Osmar Pinheiro. But the main figure in all her learning process was Arnaldo Calado de Farias, someone with a vast knowledge of art as a manifest of the rich unconscious of the human being. He helped her understand the importance of solitude in creation.

“Expulsão do Paraíso” – Oil on Canvas – 1.20m x 1.60m

Marilia’s life consisted of raising her three children, working alone in her studio, and going on beautiful trips to Japan, India, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with her husband or with the whole family, visiting many different cultures, peoples and art. This created a melting pot in her soul, which was always welcome to her and is reflected in her creations.

“Assim falou Zaratustra” – Oil on canvas –  1.50m x 2.00m

She always like to experiment with new materials and so she studied ceramics. This led her to later on produce several sculptures, which were then converted to bronze. The garden in the house became a Sculpture garden.

“Eudora” – Scupture in Clay


Marilia and “Hecate” – Sculpture in Bronze – 1.00 m  x 0.60m x 0.80m

Another experiment was to learn metal engraving. This brought a lot of joy, letting the alchemist inside the artist express herself. The studio acquired a gravure press and Marilia spent her days drawing on metal, bathing the metal sheets in acid, and pressing the metal on paper.

But painting has been always the greatest pleasure and received the most attention and dedication from the artist throughout her career. Even during new experimentations, painting was never left behind.

One of the painting series she created was TAO, a series of thirteen canvasses. The voice of the Universe was heard.

“Tao X” – Oil on canvas – 1.30m x 1.90m

And “Cosmic Energy”, a series of fourteen large 1,50m2 round canvasses which inspired a profound connection between human beings and the Universe; moments of complete solitude and interaction between the artist, canvas, and oil colors painting. Those were precious moments.

“Energia Cósmica 2 “ – Oil on canvas – 1.68m

Another series of twelve canvasses was produced, deepening the journey of the solitary artist along the desert, the ocean, the forest…

“No deserto” – Oil on canvas – 1.20m x 1.60m

In a certain moment the artist was surprised by life. Breast Cancer.

Treatments were done, she was cured, and life changed for the better – both that of the human being and that of the artist.

The rhythm of her painting changed. Now, less meant more. In intensity, in truth. Maturity reached the person and the art.

“Casulos de Outono” was produced, a diptych with two canvasses of 1.60m x 1.20m each.

“Casulos de Outono” – Oil on canvas – 1.60m x 2.40m

She followed the same new rhythm, with deep and intense paintings, lonely productions and increasing maturity.

“Kundalini” – Oil on canvas – 1.20m x 1.60m

Another series was “The Nereids. This was very intense for the artist and brought out many aspects of the human archetypes.

“Dero, a Paciente” – “As Nereides” – Oil on canvas – 1.50m x 2.00m

But life also brings good surprises, this time a good one. With their children grown up, studying and living abroad, the couple decided it was time for a new adventure and moved to London.  The artist felt it was time to come out and show the world her work. Finally, after so many years, the London Biennale welcomed her.   And now the Florence Biennales. She feels very grateful.