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Brooklyn Street Art

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Add Fuel Reimagines Azulejo in His First Monograph

Posted on April 12, 2018

Street Artist Add Fuel is exporting azulejo to the rest of the world. Slightly differently than they did in previous centuries.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

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 travelled 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.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

What makes his work contemporary is the reworking of elements to include zombies, snakes, Gameboys, and selfie sticks in his patterns. A graphic designer and illustrator, he imagines his complex tile ornamentation as a patterned fill for masking or knocking out type. Entire walls become quilted blocks and remnants stitched together. Taking inspiration from Jacques Villeglé and his torn poster collages (or even Faile’s more recent reworking of the method for ripped away pop revelation) Add Fuel uses the device of showing the past, the foundation for the culture, helping us to imagine a life before ours.

Add Fuels first monograph is tile-shaped and precisely rendered, a survey of the patterned and pixilated, pleasant and pernicious imagined motifs he has placed upon tiles, screenprints, embroidery and façades. Using historical, artists and artisanal work as inspiration, with his archive of ideas and executions he has created himself as one for others.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

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