An Affair with Fashion
With a smart eye for fashion and aesthetic, Brazilian artist Andre Azevedo has explored all different avenues of artistic work. From video making, to painting and art installations, he has dipped his toe in all kinds of waters and in each of those showed absolute control of his talent and imaginationby creating a body of work that travels through the most inventive to the most high maintenance crowds, all of which have their attention caught by the edgy look of whatever it is that Mr. Azevedo has created. Wether it’s a window for a fashion brand, a TV commercial, a painting or illustrations for a fashion magazine, Andre shows no fear in his work and with his work he conquers the minds of thousands.
With a background in graphic design, Andre Azevedo saw his artistic career turn into a hobby for the ten years he worked as a model manager for one of Sao Paulo’s most prominent modeling agencies. In 2007,
on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Andre realized he needed to slow down and reacess his life; he quit his successful career in Sao Paulo, packed up his bags and paintings and moved back home to Curitiba, a quaint city with the best quality of life in the Brazil, but also a city that thrives on art and culture.
The move to Curitiba was meant to be a hiatus, time that the model manager needed to find his true calling; and that’s where Andre Azevedo, the model manager, became Andre Azevedo, the artist. Making use of his connections in fashion, Andre went on to do freelance work in styling and fashion production in order to make a living while in his free time he could pour his passion into canvases, screens and sheets of paper. It was clear from the beginning that his work had a strong link with the fashion images that were a part of his day to day life in Sao Paulo and that the human eastethic played an important role as a source of inspiration, and as he explains,
“the human being is still the focus of my vision”. But if the human connection is so important, then why completely abandon such a successful career? Couldn’t it be a great source of inspiration as well as an ally? Andre explains that,“
in the beginning the proximity with the fashion universe and the amount of interesteing people I would meet was exciting and extremely stimulating, it made me more interested in fashion, but with time it also became really boring, that’s why I had to leave, but those subjects are still present in my work.” In Curitiba, Mr. Azevedo also discovered a passion for the use of the internet and social media, and through them he also found a great tool to show his work and his ideas to the world. By spreading his work on his blog, Andre started seeing an overflow of followers and admirers, ranging from fashion editors to celebrities like Kanye West, who even posted a link to Andre’s work.
The internet was the biggest art dealer Mr. Azevedo could have asked for, all of a sudden he was receiving requests from other artists for contributions as well as commercial clients like Alfa Romeo and MTV to use his work in their new and creative advertising strategies. With much dedication, Mr. Azevedo took his time making the right decisions. Calls from magazines such as Tank and Made in Brazil started coming in and his collaborations started spreading out into the fashion industry. The Brazilian super-brand Forum asked Mr. Azevedo to develop a set of prints for a limited edition of t-shirts that were sold out and the classic brand Lacoste brought Andre in to participate in a project that culminated in a fashion show, a week of exhibitions and a limited edition book launched in Paris in 2011. Andre’s pannel produced for that exhibition in Rio de Janeiro was so well received that later it was also picked to be used in the windows of the Lacoste stores in Rio de Janeiro.
Publishing mega-house Taschen saw his talent and asked him to submit his work to their infamous catalog of the best illustrators in the world: Illustration Now! - for which he was then included in it’s fourth edition. Following Illustration Now! - Vol. 4, Mr. Azevedo has also been included in Taschen’s The Bigger Book of Fahsion Illustration due out this year.
When the subject of the commercial use of art is brought up, Mr. Azevedo has a very firm stand point: “I believe that the dream of most artists is to be able to stay in their studios and produce the work they feel the most inspired by for days and days, without any concerns of where its place in the art market or the price point, but for the most part I don’t believe that is a possibility. Even though many don’t see the commercial use of art in a good light, I don’t believe it makes less of my work as an artist, to me it’s a great compliment when I am asked to contribute to a fashion label or a major established brand like Lacoste or Alfa Romeo. In general my artistic freedom is never compromised, as I am usually given a theme or subject to work with and I am free to create on top of that.". And so, after exploring so many different environments all there is left to wonder is; what else is there to do? “ well, photography is still very intriguing to me, it demands a lot more discipline and it’s the only thing that never came naturally to me, like painting or drawing.”
We look forward to seeing Andre explore this new realm and we hope his photos are as seductive as his illustrations!
Visit Andre Azevedo's blog here.