352walls. Add Fuel’s Electrical Animals

Diogo Machado aka Add Fuel from Portugal did a series of seven painted urban equipment (GRU transformer boxes) throughout downtown Gainesville for the 352walls initiative. All of these interventions are part of the ‘Electrical Animal’ series he created specifically for our town. They are based on the ongoing reinterpretations of traditional Portuguese tiles but, with Florida’s fauna. Each painting (box) is a small homage to one of the many animals found in the Sunshine State. Among them: Mockingbird, Horse Conch, Sea Turtle, Armadillo, Atlantic Sailfish, Manatee, Alligator.

The last part in a group of paintings and interventions is a mural at Downtown Parking Garage (105 SW 3rd St, Fl 32601).

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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 “layers of history”, 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 it’s 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.

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