Did you say Bordalo II?
This young Portuguese artist, 32, is the grandson of Artur Real Bordalo, a well-known watercolourist who is now deceased. It was the grandfather who inspired his pseudonym, Bordalo II. From the age of just 11, the budding artist began creating urban art in the streets of Lisbon. He discovered sculpture during his time as a student at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon. “One day I just started putting together the objects I’d collected and set aside, thinking I’d create a medium on which to paint,” he told Agence France-Presse during a trip to Paris. “And I realised I could use those objects to create something interesting from an aesthetic point of view that would also carry meaning.” His ecological convictions provided a logical next step: “I use my work to convey ideas and concerns, and to open people’s eyes to the global issues we’re facing: global warming and climate change, wide-scale extinction, deforestation, water shortage, pollution, etc.,” the artist stressed.
Street artist and globe-trotter
Since 2013, Bordalo II has installed some 130 works in cities located in 23 different countries, to raise the alarm.
The artist’s most recent personal exhibition, held in Paris and hosted by Mathgoth Gallery from 26 January to 2 March, drew a lot of attention. Mischievously entitled “Paris Agreement”, the exhibition included thirty or so animal sculptures from the “Trash animals” series, all made from waste products.
Bordalo II offers our society a harshly realistic mirror of itself, while adorning our cities with a vibrantly colourful, eye-catching menagerie. Far from being pessimistic, his art offers a powerful message of hope: with a bit of imagination, humans can breathe new life into what they have destroyed, and make something beautiful out of something ugly.