“Reveil” will be at Radio Palace until June 30
What can you tell us about your work?
My work have been, in recent years, around the baroque. I try to interpret the baroque in a contemporary way. And I have made many sculptures that interact and are inspired by Baroque places, such as the one I made for the National Palace of Mafra (Palácio Nacional de Mafra) or the other one I made for the Chapel of St. John Baptist (Capela de São João Baptista )… I am inspired by what happened in the Portuguese baroque period in the churches, where we used gold covered woodcarving because we did not have the money to have marble like the Italians. That is why we have adopted cheaper techniques to make the interior of the churches. I have tried to make an analogy by using a material that is not so expensive but looks luxurious. My artworks are in plastic. It looks like metal, it's hyper-baroque.
These sculptures are made in PETg (Polyethylene Terephthalate). They have the same principle as those I exhibited at the Faculty of Fine Arts, but were adapted to this room. These sculptures are made in PETg (Polyethylene Terephthalate). It´s a room that looks like a garden, because of the drawings on the ceiling, with the flowers, fruit bunches and the boys playing. So the idea was to create a theatrical scenario, as in the baroque, of a fake plastic garden. The goal is that these works fit into historical spaces but at the same time can be seen in a contemporary way.
Tell us about your career. Have you already done other exhibitions?
Yes. Before going to the Faculty of Fine Arts, I studied Economics in Coimbra. Then I moved to Sculpture because it was what I really wanted. When I went to the Faculty of Fine Arts I started trying to create exhibitions. I began by making an exhibition together with Ana Figueiredo, in Braga, which quickly became epic. It was in the Biscainhos Palace (Palácio dos Biscainhos), a baroque palace. It was the beginning of everything. We tried from the beginning that the exhibitions were not limited to the same space, were not static. Then we took them out into the street. It was an exhibition that extended to a number of stores in Braga and Porto airport. From this experience, was born a project I called Sapiens Atelier, where I try to explore the relationship between the history, heritage and contemporary hyper-realities.
After that, I've done a series of sculptures in Lisbon related to historical commercial spaces. As in Tous da Almeida Garret. I tried to take the art to unexpected places, to take it out of the galleries. That's why this project, at Radio Palace, is so interesting. It is relaxed, and serious simultaneously. I have also exhibited at the former Palacete da Nova SBE and in the Embassy of France in Lisbon.
My idea is always to value the object. This comes from my background in Economics, to realize how the work gets its value. My idea was not only to exhibit in these places, but to go there, shoot and make videos of the artworks. Nowadays with technology (and social networks) this is exponential. And from there, it creates buzz around the artwork. By making these exhibitions in valuable historic places, I carry that value to my work. The idea is that the artwork gives value to the places and the places values the artwork.
What is the purpose of art these days?
The art associated with an idea of beauty is very important to live better, more cheerful. At Radio Palace, these decorations made the space more friendly, more pleasant and enjoyable. But contemporary art has focused more in shocking, questioning itself, and its limits. This model is already a little exhausted. I want to break with this constant idea of shock by the weirdness, and start shocking through beauty. People are no longer used to seeing beauty when they see art.
Who is Miguel A. Rodrigues?
Miguel A. Rodrigues attends the last year of the degree in Sculpture of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. He is from Coimbra where he studied Economics at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra.
He sees art as an exaltation of beauty seeking it through the hyper-reality of everyday life. It is inspired by history, fashion, propaganda and theatricality. In the last years he has chosen the baroque and its history as an object of reflection.
Know more about Miguel A. Rodrigues's pieces at Sapiens Atelier.
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