As usual this week a bit late with the latest news, but who cares when the work is worth it? One of the works I wanted to share is this new mural by Portuguese artist Diogo Machado, better known as Add Fuel, painted for Festival Iminente in London a few weeks ago.
Like in the rest of his work Add Fuel introduces and reinterprets the language of the traditional Portuguese azulejo, not only to express or highlight his own Portuguese identity, but also to reflect about the significance of tradition, what it means for us and how we can preserve it in a fast paced and technologically advanced modern world, always researching for traditional patterns from the region in which he is working.
This time, he wanted to connect two old tile design traditions, the Portuguese and the English. Add Fuel explains his piece as follows:
“During the middle ages, the common practice of tile design in England included the representation of figurative and geometrical tile designs, floral and foliate and animals, both real and mythical. In the 19th century, Britain pioneered mass-produced tiles, emphasising the importance of colour and composition over thematic and artwork.
Two forgotten styles and techniques I felt the need to explore and combine in this wall in The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane.”
About the artist
Add Fuel is Portuguese visual artist and illustrator Diogo Machado (1980). A former graphic designer, his recent artistic practice has been focused on reinterpreting and playing with the language of traditional tile design, and that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic azulejo in particular. Blending traditional and contemporary elements, his original vector- based designs and stencil-based street art reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail. Based on a combination of tesselations that create balance from symmetrical repetitions and visual illusion techniques such as trompe-l’œil, his multi-layered patterned compositions create a poetic rhythm that plays with the viewer’s perception and the possibilities of interpretation. He has been showcasing his work in both solo and group exhibitions since 2006, as well as participating in some of the world’s leading urban art events.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.