His works are considered ‘trash art’

‘I’ am part of a very consumerist and materialistic generation.
The education we receive is directed towards overconsumption, with excessive production of stuff, especially technology.’

Big Trash Animals (Grandes Animais do Lixo) is a series of artworks aimed to draw attention to waste production and pollution and its effect on the planet.
The idea is to depict nature itself – in this case animals – out of materials that are responsible for its destruction.

‘The works are built from scrap.’
The majority are found in wastelands or abandoned factories; damaged bumpers, burnt garbage cans, plastic stuff, and old tires.
They are camouflaging the result of our greedy habits with little ecological and social awareness.

Artur Bordalo (Lisbon, 1987) uses his artist name Bordalo II (‘the second’) as a tribute to his grandfather in order to promote continuity and reinvention of his artistic legacy.
At first sight, you might associate his name with the famous plastic artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. In fact, it is an allusion to his grandfather Real Bordalo, a painter of watercolors.

In his youth, he lived between two artistic worlds; in one he watched his grandfather painting landscapes and typical scenes of the city and in the other, he dedicated his time to producing illegal graffiti in Lisbon.
This practice helped him to get comfortable with big dimensions and work on the street.

In 2007 he enrolled at the Fine Arts Faculty of Lisbon in painting. He attended school for three years without ever completing it. Those years, however, allowed him to discover sculpture, and ceramics, and to experiment with materials that distanced him from painting, which had taken him there in the first place.

The public space would become the canvas for his creative expressions of color and scale and the platform where he gradually transformed his work, which is focused on questioning the materialistic society of which he is also part.

Since 2012 Artur Bordalo – who calls himself an artivist –  has created over 200 animal sculptures using more than 60 tons of reused materials.
He is also famous for his Railway Series in Portugal in which he uses train tracks to make art.
His 3-dimensional installations can be found all over the world.

His consciousness and concern for the environment have always been there. I
n 2013 he presented his first art piece made out of garbage at the festival Walk & Talk in the Azores.
When he is not traveling abroad, Bordalo continues collecting street trash for his sculptures in his studio in northern Lisbon.

Enjoy the week                                                 Aproveite a semana

Many people will be familiar with the Carnation Revolution in Portugal that on April 25, 1974, overthrew the authoritarian Estado Novo (New State) regime, established by fascist leader António de Oliveira Salazar.
Last month its 49th anniversary – a national holiday coined as Dia de Liberdade (Freedom Day) – was celebrated all over the country.

But how became the carnation the symbol of the military coup organized by military officers of the Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forças Armadas, MFA), that opposed the brutal regime and the ongoing war in Portugal’s African colonies (i.e. Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Saõ Tomé and Principe)?

An explanation is, that almost no shots were fired during the peaceful takeover of the military and that when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and the colonial wars in Africa, carnations were put into the silent muzzles of the rifles of the armed forces.

However, an alternative interpretation is related to a special woman named Celeste de Caeiros. On April 25, 1974, she was 40 years old and a waitress at the Franjinhas restaurant, on Braamcamp street, next to the Marquis of Pombal square.

That date happened to be the restaurant’s 1st anniversary and red carnations were purchased to hand out to the customers. When Celeste arrived, she was told to go home because a revolution was underway and the restaurant closed. She ended up taking the flowers home when she ran straight into Portuguese soldiers and tanks making their way to the government buildings.

One of the soldiers asked her for the cigarette but as Celeste didn’t smoke, she offered him a red carnation instead which he put into the barrel of his shotgun. In no time his fellow soldiers started doing the same. Photographs capturing the occasion and images of soldiers with carnations in their guns became the symbol of Portugal’s revolution.

Although the Carnation Revolution was peaceful and within hours brought an end to the oppressive regime  – at the same time opening the door for the independence of the African colonies – the transition to a stable democratic government was delayed until 1986, when Portugal entered the European Union.

In honour of the revolution, Lisbon’s ionic suspension bridge (a lookalike of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) formerly known as the Ponto Salazar ( Salazar Bridge), was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril (April 25 Bridge).

Enjoy the week            Aproveite a semana                (pic Público/Ptnews)