Born and raised in Lisbon, Artur Bordalo learned his craft both in the studios of his grandfather, the painter Real Bordalo and amongst the city’s energetic graffiti scene. He began leaving his mark on walls of Lisbon at the age of 11 under the tag of Bordalo II, a tribute to his grandfather, before going on to pursue a degree in painting at the Fine Arts school in Lisbon.
After discovering sculpture and ceramics and experimenting with a myriad of materials, Bordalo II’s sculpting techniques evolved and he found his calling: trash art. From the outset, he has focused on taking what has been discarded and creating art as a poignant criticism of pollution, overconsumption, and underscoring the lack of urgency and measures to mitigate environmental catastrophe.
Since 2012, he has salvaged over 115 tonnes of used materials, from tyres, dumpsters, marine debris, ropes, and other discarded objects, to create large-scale sculptures depicting mostly animals — his own acknowledgment of how important it is to put nature at the centre. His work has been presented globally as both highly resonant site-specific pieces and in exhibitions, from Singapore, the USA, and French Polynesia to France, Germany, and Austria.
Martinhal is now partnering with Bordalo II to present his latest exhibition, EVILUTION, in a unique setting: Edu Hub Lisbon, a new destination underway in neighbouring, Marvila by Chitra and Roman Stern, founders and owners of the Martinhal Group and the Elegant Group. The successful international school (ULIS) and campus came first opening in the pandemic anchoring what is EduHub Lisbon a 28,400 sqm site within revitalised industrial buildings (with a fascinating history of their own) which in the future will become spaces for learning, working, and living and already has several international businesses installed.
Martinhal has long been an ardent supporter of Portuguese artists and makers having worked with names such as Kruella D’Enfer, Graça Paz, Pedro Batista, Maria Imaginário, and Tamara Alves, among many others.
The exhibition represents somewhat of a homecoming for Bordalo II whose giant Iberian Lynx sculpture stands proud just around the corner from Martinhal Residence in Park of Nations. Indeed, Bordalo’s work could not be more in keeping with the reimagining of the district’s industrial past, and Martinhal’s role in breathing new life into underutilised buildings as they did to create the Lisbon International School and the Edu Hub itself that will host the event.
EVILUTION will bring together themes and representations of his most eminent work while experimenting with scale and form that speak to the storied past while pointing to the possibilities of what comes next. Opening on October 8th with five highly distinctive yet complementary moments for visitors to experience within the Edu Hub setting, the exhibition is already proving not only the top of Lisbon’s must-see art happenings but looks to further put Marvila and Park of Nations on the map.