Portuguese artist Diogo Machado, AKA Add Fuel takes his native Portuguese culture as his source of inspiration. He reinterprets the language of traditional tile design, in particular the Portuguese azulejo (glazed tiles).
He was recently invited by Estrela Town Hall in Lisbon to complete the Infante Santo Avenue Azulejo Route.
The mural, dear to Add Fuel’s heart, is entitled “Louvor da Vivacidade” (which translates to “Praise to Liveliness” or “Praise to a Living City”). This is the largest public art project created by the artist to this date. The brand new artwork intends to recover the Azulejo’s artistic expression, which reflects its historical, architectural, memory and tradition, by bringing it to the present.
The invitation to complete the Azulejo (Traditional Portuguese Tile) Route, a path that has in the last decades branded this important Lisbon axis and where one can find tile panels by renowned Portuguese artists — Maria Keil (1959), Carlos Botelho (1959), Júlio Pomar and Alice Jorge (1959), Sá Nogueira (1959) and Eduardo Nery (1994 and 2001) — was extended to the artist. Discover his new creation below documented with photos by Hugo Moura.
This way, the use of azulejo — undeniably one of Portugal’s identity elements — is used, but with a contemporary aesthetic and approach: the artist’s unique trait.
As characterised in his body of work, Add Fuel reinterpreted the street’s existing azulejos, specifically the historical panels one can find in the staircases. From these panels, the artist selected key patterns and compositions, which set the base for the creation of a massive 200 sqm panel, as an homage to the previous pieces. In his own words: “Within this controlled chaos, I created a dynamic composition, with elements based on Estrela neighbourhood’s history; a place of long forgotten fishermen with a deep connection to the sea. I believe these elements will work out to have the necessary strength this tribute deserves.”
This project was also possible due to the partnership created with Revigés, a 100% Portuguese ceramic company with 40 years of activity.
More information about the project:
Project – Junta de Freguesia da Estrela | Curatorship – Mistaker Maker | Ceramic Partner – Revigrés | Institucional Partner – Museu Nacional do Azulejo