Add Fuel solo exhibition
December 3, 2023 – March 2, 2024

Fabien Castanier Gallery is excited to present a solo exhibition for contemporary Portuguese artist Add Fuel, “A P O P H E N I A”. This will be the first solo show for the artist at the gallery and will feature new pieces from the artist as well as the release of an exclusive silkscreen print at the exhibition’s opening. Add Fuel will paint a mural in Miami and additionally present a special installation project as part of Art Miami, taking place Dec 5-10, in collaboration with the gallery’s participation at the art fair. Add Fuel’s work for “A P O P H E N I A” highlights the meticulous technique in which the artist has honed, the manipulation of ceramic tiles. Incorporating masterful rendering of patterns, he creates work that engages the eye with visual depth both within the sculptural nature of his pieces as well as in the intricate painted motifs.

Derived from the Greek words “apo” (away) and “phaino” (to show), the word ‘apophenia’ encapsulates the profound human inclination to perceive meaningful connections and patterns, even within the seemingly random and unrelated occurrences that surround us. As you journey through the exhibition, you’ll bear witness to the intricate interplay of this phenomenon as it weaves its enigmatic threads. In the realm of art, patterns serve as much more than mere aesthetics; they become conduits, guiding our gaze into the uncharted territories of the unforeseen. For Add Fuel, they are gateways to the unexpected, where every transposition conceals a story yearning to be observed and deciphered.

As an exploration of different aesthetic possibilities and the juxtaposition of heritage and modernity, Add Fuel’s work reinterprets the language of traditional tile design, specifically that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic azulejo. Historically used as large-scale decoration upon buildings, the Portuguese tile work inhabited a cultural space that contained biblical and mythological references and blended seamlessly with their architecture. Utilizing the complexities and depth offered by this style, Add Fuel creates multi-layered patterned compositions that produce a poetic rhythm, playing with perception and illusion.

Each piece when viewed from afar appears harmonious and perhaps a direct pastiche of traditional azulejo. However, upon closer inspection, the details rendered reveal characters and forms that speak to a more modern and whimsical aesthetic. As we delve beyond the veneer of the ordinary, we uncover a universe of intricate, patterned connections extending an invitation, not merely to view, but to engage – to delve into the captivating intersections between patterns and the concealed, unexpected elements dwell beneath the surface of intricacies. Add Fuel skillfully navigates these currents, adeptly revealing the hidden narratives that lie just beneath a first glimpse. Each piece acts as a portal, offering a tantalizing glimpse into these concealed realms – narratives that often elude casual observation but emerge vividly when we open our minds to the art of connection.

Add Fuel (b. 1980, Cascais), Portuguese visual artist Diogo Machado, began his practice with a degree in graphic design from Lisbon’s IADE – Institute of Visual Arts, Design and Marketing. He spent several years working in design studios in Portugal as well as Munich, Germany, and since 2007 has focused exclusively on his artistic work. Exploring a wide range of both manual and digital techniques in the fields of drawing, painting, ceramics, and printing, his practice expresses a sophisticated dialogue between the old and the new. Besides numerous public art presentations he has created all around the world, Add Fuel continues to showcase his work with solo and group exhibitions in international galleries.

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