In recent years Bordalo II has always been present on our pages, we all know him for his towering 3D murals painted on the streets of Lisbon and many other cities in the world. We reached the Portuguese artist for a nice chat about the way he transforms found trash in giant beautiful animals, giving new life through recycling. Take a break and enjoy this exclusive interview.
Hello Bordalo II, I can just imagine how many times they asked you but I’m too curious about it, where the f**k do you find all the materials needed for your installations?
Everywhere! Society produce a lot, consume a lot, and than waste a lot. Unfortunately there’s trash everywhere, so I just have to drive around and spend few hours to collect all what i’m looking for.
And I’d like to know how do you select the proper pieces to compose your artworks,
there is a precise scheme you follow or a random choice could help?
Is not really random, there are a few pieces of trash that I already know are good to cut, to shape and create the forms that I want to. Others depends about the work that I will do, I always create the final image of the piece in my mind so I can understand what kind of materials will be cool.
I was lucky enough to see the “Melting Penguin” you did in Bordeaux, that was an impressive piece. I loved the composition and the color palette, would you be so kind to give a brief walk through this specific workflow?
The Melting Penguim is a piece related to the melting Artic. When I mean “melt” is about being destroyed, and when the habitat of the penguin melts, it will be destroyed too.
Tell me some about your recent projects, how has your work evolved from when you were beginning?
I see an evolution, i’m trying to have more details in some parts, and stylize others. Even if in the beginning it was all about exploring and discovering the way to do, the way to make it work, I’m still trying to innovate, create new problems and have fun with them – this is the process that creates different expressions, forms, textures, etc.
Do you remember the very first installation that you worked?
I do, my first big trash animal was for the festival Walk n Talk in Azores.
Tell me some about your past, how was your beginnings in street installations, what do you see when you look back?
I used to make graffiti, illegal one so that was my school and my contact with the streets came from that kind of experiences.
Is it something you are comfortable with, or would you like to erase your earlier works?
Even if i don’t love something that i’ve done few years ago, it’s good when we look back and see how different we are working now. It’s my story so I don’t want to erase anything, time will do it for me.
And what about now, what pushes you through your art, what’s the engine power of your motivation?
To feel alive we need to communicate, and my artworks tell stories, opinions, ways of thinking, etc. So my motivation is to feel alive!
All of your outdoor production is pretty big and sprawling at times. Talk for a moment to someone who’d like to do the same stuff, tell him what’s the hardest part of your large scale installations.
There’s not much to tell about this, it’s all about trying, experiment, fail, learn, let it fall, fix it again, and get addicted to the technique. It´s a work of freestyle, you just get the know how doing it.
If you could change one thing about being an artist, what would it be?
Nothing, I’m happy like this!
Quick reply. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
Crazy Big scales.
Something you would like to see in this world before dying.
The world changing.
One overrated and one underrated thing in our daily life.
Well, overrated: smartphones // Underrated: real life.
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
There are some news coming soon, I don’t talk before I have it done!