Focus on Artist: ADD FUEL

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ADD FUEL, real name Diogo Machado (born 1980), is a Portuguese visual artist and illustrator. He graduated in graphic design from IADE – Institute of Visual Arts, Design and Marketing of Lisbon. Since 2007, he has devoted himself exclusively to his artistic work.

Originally known under the full name “Add Fuel to the Fire,” he first created an exuberant visual universe, populated by a host of eccentric and cheerful creatures, influenced by diverse interests ranging from video games to comics, in passing through animation, science fiction, designer toys and urban visual culture.

In 2008, fascinated by the aesthetic possibilities of patterns, particularly those of symmetrical mosaics, he shortened his nickname and reinterpreted the language of artisanal creation of traditional tiles, in particular that of glazed Portuguese ceramics.

Effortlessly blending these two seemingly irreconcilable visual expressions, his current practice seeks to combine traditional decorative elements with contemporary visual referents in new forms that reveal impressive complexity and masterful attention to detail. Creating balance and harmony from symmetrical repetitions, an accumulation of layers and visual illusion techniques such as trompe l'oeil.

His multi-layered patterned compositions produce a poetic rhythm that plays with the viewer's perception and multiple possibilities of interpretation. Exploring a wide range of manual and digital techniques in the fields of drawing, painting, ceramics and screen printing, his practice expresses a sophisticated dialogue between old and new, between heritage and modernity.

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