Tiago Azevedo Biography

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Tiago Azevedo Lowbrow Pop Surrealism Artist

Tiago Azevedo is a painter and architect who was born in the Azores Islands amongst the mystique of the fog and fantastic landscapes that stimulate creativity and inspiration.

Upon his graduation as an architect, he worked in Portugal and Germany, having several important projects in his portfolio such as the restoration of the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich. Even though painting has always been his passion and driving force, it was his understanding of form and proportion that led him to follow his true passion for painting and turn it into a career, discovering the value of pursuing his dreams.


He has participated in numerous exhibitions in cities all over the world and has won the respect of the public and international art critics. Tiago has exhibited at the Louvre in Paris, as well as in Rome, in a event sponsored by the Vatican – which is a perfect match for the religious aspect of his art – and also in New York, what brought him together with artists, galleries, publishers and art collectors from all around the world.


His inspiration and themes are mostly related to religion and fantasy, including the tales of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. The Baroque also fascinates him for its contrast and dramatic effect, which he combines it with a fantastic contemporary aesthetic. At a technical level what fascinates him the most is classical oil painting and his work can be stylistically integrated into Pop Surrealism for it combines contemporary concepts with classical techniques from the great masters of the art world.


Beyond the art exhibitions, Tiago is working on his second illustration book. This arose from the need to compile his paintings in a format that could convey the literary component of his work: the tales and fables that we all grew with.


He has been compared to Margaret Keane and states that the comparison may arise from the enlargement of the eyes, which makes it easier to transfer the emotion to the canvas. His artwork can be defined as a way to transform his visions and dreams into matter, being that painting is for Tiago the most direct and effective way to express himself.


Tiago’s investment in art exceeds his own work as his art gallery has helped other artists finding the strategy and strength to build a successful career and participate in important international art exhibits.


When moved by such versatile virtuosity, refracting back on ourselves, on the life process more than we might like, perhaps Tiago Azevedo was dipped twice in the blue and green lakes of Portuguese legend. 

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Last week, I had the good fortune to talk with the Portuguese painter, Tiago Azevedo, about his life as an artist (click here to read my interview with him). So this week, I thought I’d show you some of his most recent work. Here, check this out...


Tiago’s current collection is called ‘Historical Figures’, which comprises a series of seven portraits that depict reimagined personages from across the ages, including Cleopatra, Queen Victoria, Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Louis XIV, and Queen Elizabeth I.


Aesthetically, each portrait has been illustrated with a blend of classical techniques from the Baroque and Pre-Raphaelite period, along with contemporary concepts of Tiago’s own devising, usually, wildly manipulated eyes, with the dimensions altered because of the way it transfers emotion through the canvas.


This venture first began when Tiago decided to paint a series of ‘inspirational figures’ who touched him because of their life journey or their legendary beauty. For the Queen of Egypt, he strove to depict 'her mesmerizing gaze that seduced two of the most powerful rulers of the Roman Empire'. And for the French Resistance Heroine, he wanted to show her ‘sensuality despite her masculine charm’.


According to Tiago, his favorite character in this series is Napoleon. Not only because it challenged him to capture Napoleon's more ‘austere side’, but in addition to this, it was also pretty difficult to imagine the splendor of the era he lived in.


Tiago typically prefers to paint with oil because it allows him to work with multiple layers and achieve the transparency effect he constantly desires. ‘Painting also provides contrast and vibrancy of colors that would be difficult to achieve with any other technique’, he adds, 'and oil dries a lot slower, so this gives me more time to work on the details'.


“Historical Figures” is Tiago’s third major collection, and his only one based on real-life people. His previous two collections, “Fairytales” and “Religion”, were critical hits in the pop-surrealist art community, leading to exhibitions at both The Louvre and The Vatican.


Before becoming a painter, Tiago was a qualified architect who worked on several major projects, including the ‘Bayerischer Hof Hotel’, located in Munich. After a while, though, his desire to work within the realm of fantasy took him by the hand and spurred him on to where he currently is today.


‘My audience tends to be very diversified’, Tiago once told a journalist, 'and they generally consist of people who love the fantastic. But, as almost all of my paintings are portraits, on occasion, some people simply fall in love with the way the painted figure looks at them, as if they were talking to them, and curiously, these are the people who often purchase my originals because they fell in love with the subject'.


And on that note, I’d like to thank Tiago for allowing me to showcase his work, before encouraging you to check out his InstagramFacebook, and Twitter pages.

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