Lisbon Part II: Where Street Art is Becoming “Urban Contemporary”
A trained graphic designer and illustrator well versed in the language of skating and his own youth as a graffiti writer, he’s become known internationally for his characters and his large-scale stencil-painted murals that incorporate the classic and traditional visual patterning of Portuguese tile work, or Azulejo.
On an overcast day his buddy and slightly younger peer, the sculptural Street Artist who works with recycled trash, Bordalo II, offers to take us to Cascais, a coastal town 30 kilometers west of Lisbon, where Add Fuel lives and has his studio.
While we visit the two of them break off into rapid-fire Portuguese conversations about some collaborative projects they are working on – and we learn that Add Fuel often gives his rejected tiles and discards to the recycling Bordalo II. “For me there are no mistakes,” says Bordalo II, “I love mistakes.”
Big thanks you to Jaime and Steve from Brooklyn Street Art and Bordalo for the visit.
"Street Artist Add Fuel is exporting azulejo to the rest of the world. Slightly differently than they did in previous centuries.
Via his own pop-culture interpretation of the interlocking curvilinear, geometric and graphic motifs, the Portuguese artist is firing new pieces daily in the kiln of his studio in Cascais. For a decade or so his interpretations of the tin-glazed ceramic tilework have been appearing on inordinate secondary city skins in the paths of pedestrians: visual illusions meant to appear as layers of urban bark peeling back from surfaces you take for granted to reveal heritage, history, artisanship.
While the interiors and exteriors of churches, palaces, schools and subway stations are covered with azulejos in Lisbon, thanks to Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) they have traveled to other cities and cultures as well. Each time he is attracted to the tilemaking traditions locally, and he often incorporates his study of these new histories as well."
Photos ©Jaime Rojo / BSA
"Underdogs Art Store is please to announce that from Friday, 6 April, we'll be selling the book “□1”, by Portuguese artist Add Fuel."
“□1” (Square One), the first book on Diogo Machado aka Add Fuel's work, launched by the artist last March, features throughout its 240 pages a fine selection of unique artworks, artist editions and mural pieces – a comprehensive approach to an original oeuvre which has been greatly characterized by the effort in rethinking and reworking the aesthetics of Portuguese tile work in a markedly contemporary format.
Signing session with the artist:
Friday, 6 April
5pm – 7pm
Underdogs Art Store
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa
Armazém A, porta 20
Cais do Sodré, Lisboa