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Add Fuel - Tradition Reworked

Words:

Edd Norval

Photos:

Bruno Lopes
March 5, 2021

Add Fuel uses the iconic tiles of Portugal to create his mosaic-like pieces, contrasting the traditionally patterned and decorated with the works of his own design. Now, for a 48-hour period from 5-7 March, his latest exhibition - Chronos Redux - can be viewed online.

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This pioneering new initiative comes from the team at Underdogs, who constructed this platform as a means of connecting their artists and exhibitions with a viewership of enthusiasts and buyers. Each piece will be available for sale, operating on a first-come-first-serve basis, whereby interested buyers will be able to reserve their desired works. 


As a reaction to the closure of galleries as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, Underdogs have opted for this novel approach by combining the digital lessons learned from online galleries and that of online auctions. That it is limited to a particular timeframe has two-fold repercussions.


First, the sense of immediacy and intimacy. Online viewing spaces can lack a connection to reality, feeling almost like a representation, rather than an experience. Injecting this sterile environment with a ticking clock imbues every moment with the potential to allow those viewing from home to experience the palpable buzz that can be experienced in real-life opening nights.

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Secondly, there is a conceptual element to this too. Diogo Machada, known as Add Fuel, works with the traditional tiles of azulejo - glazed and coloured tiles that typify Portuguese decorative facades. Add Fuel manages to emancipate the trappings of time in his own pieces by juxtaposing the tiles with his own contemporary interpretation, offering a perspective that both cherishes tradition as well as challenging it. 


In a year where time has both stretched and condensed, disappeared and weighed heavy, this new platform and exhibition has a feeling of ‘making sense’. It fits the artist, the purpose and, most importantly of all, it brings the raw physicality of life that we all miss one step closer to us.

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