Add Fuel (Diogo Machado, 1980) has been building a solid reputation as a visual artist and illustrator in recent years. Having first created a unique visual universe populated by sci-fi inspired, fun-loving creatures, this Portuguese artist has recently redirected his attention to reinterpreting the language of traditional tile design, and the Portuguese azulejo (glazed tiles) in particular. Filled with humor and mental games, his vector-based designs or stencil-based street art reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail.
In his work he creates âlayers of historyâ, surfaces underneath or on top of the existing structure or wall. This adds one more layer of complexity to the already double vision effect one gets when looking into his work, as it looks so traditional from afar, then you discover all the elements that compose it and they are pop and contemporary.
Another important thing for Add Fuel is to contextualize his interventions, so he usually re-draws patterns and/or uses elements from the location of the intervention. The core intent of his work (in itâs most primal essence) is to, by catching the attention of passersby, to make them think about, what lies beneath the beauty of our cities is commonly something that has always been there, traditional culture.