Artist: André Mendes (1979)
Curator: Ricardo Fernandes
Date: from August 15 to November 15, 2017
In a world in which information is constantly crossing boundaries, it is crucial to pay attention to how fast young talented visual artists have been incorporating formal, stylistic and pictorial elements to their work. André Mendes is one such case.
To me, one the of most interesting aspects of his body of work is an unpretentious affirmation of a tradition genuinely born out of a kind of freedom that is almost sarcastic in the way the artist uses his skills as painter and drawer. One needs only to remember André’s many public and private murals in order to grasp his impressive technique. They are executed in both ceramics and new industrial techniques he creates and develops himself. Always aware of the many different kinds of painting styles, specific methods, scenes and tendencies in the art world today, Mendes draws, manipulates and organizes the elements in his works with such ability that it allows him a “deliberate” use of pictorial language, a natural procedure that stands between the commitment to conceptual research and a purely aesthetic experience.
His gaze skilfully knows and recognizes a great part of the extensive modern pictorial tradition, even provocatively better than many more experienced and renowned artists today.
His contact with art from an early age, or maybe the times he has lived abroad in Spain, France and Australia, or maybe even his many trips to different parts of Europe, where he has had the chance to see in person the works of many of his favourite artists, like Tapiés, have most certainly contributed to his education as an artist. Luckily for us, however, despite his great ability with form, Andre is not a lazy artist, he does not settle for what he knows and masters. On the contrary, he is restless, active, apprehensive, all qualities that I think every good artist must have.
In the fight between balancing and letting go, fixing and breaking the limits of the frame, in the position and disposition of colours and shapes, Andrés’s recent work has presented us with a conceptual characteristic that is essential to every artist’s body of work and, the way I see it, it is not only worth appreciating his art and his talent, it also ennobles us, as spectators, his much deserved success.
Tony Camargo / Artist
Here we have an artist who insists on painting – the emphasis is also a trait revolutionary art.
I say insists, not in the sense as stubbornly resist against renewing trends, but in the sense of obstinacy, that it makes his craft very hard as a level of stubbornness is advantageous, especially essential to the artist.
Here André Mendes presents a series of works that invites us to feel the vibrancy of colors and the way it behaves in our eyes.
Starts from the plasticity of paint and its behavior – So André Mendes searches the form that arises from colorful viscosity, and features seductive objects that look organic, and makes no
gesture of time, but solidifies, invigorating discussion drawing x painting.
The creative impulse of André’s works can be translated by the words of Cezzane, “performed the color in its richness the form comes in its fullness.” At the insistence of chance encounters the color control on the impeccable surface.
The contact with the last works of André Mendes surprises the viewer when its various masses of colors create a space inhabited by brush strokes, floating spaces in which the various layers overlap creating a field immersion to the viewer. The strong and intense colors create a dynamic intense gaze for who remains before the paintings. It is difficult to distinguish what comes before and what comes after, but this holds the viewer and creates an immersive situation. In this tangle of brush strokes and layers of paint the eyes fill with situations imaginable.
His choices of colors and gestures demonstrate the work developed by years of studio and reminds us of the great classics of painting, without deluding ourselves by reference, its particularity is well-marked by gestures, color palette and imagery references contemporary art is his work as his work is art. His paintings suggest a referral to contemporary painting.
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