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Ilidio Candja Candja | Nothing is Lost, Everything Becomes...Cosmos 


8 July — 6 August

Many artists take years to carefully create its identity as painters; but Illídio Candja Candja merely followed his inspiration as painter, indifferent to associations and references to other contemporary artists, never forgetting his African origin. Candja Candja is like a manufacturer who believes that his products will always be special for themselves. Painting after painting, he asserts his extraordinary creative freedom and produces a work of internal otherness to the art world without demagoguery or naïveté, influenced by what might have been his artistic training in the colourful tradition of his country. 

Two years after moving from Maputo (where he was born) to live in Porto, the painting of Ilídio Candja Candja has attracted the attention of many international experts. 

The first point to emphasize in the painting of Illídio Candja Candja, is the way he is able to produce a universal painting; the universalism of his vision lies in how he uses images of handmade objects and ancient artefacts from the artist’s African imaginary, and the manner how he converts them into essential, unique elements in his painting, making use of collage in a modern context in a way that it becomes impossible to separate the collage-paintings of the artist's path. 

Illídio’s painting isn’t about creating a critical position, but instead is an artistic, aesthetics and cultural practice analogous to those who are guided by a free behaviour, starting from the premise that art invents ways of inhabiting the world. The artist proposes us to inhabit his world, sending us an effective message of things that he is sensitive to, including those that concern him from a remix of thoughts and ideas of the past, present and future. 

The African experience of Ilídio Candja Candja became several experiments determinative to the structure of his paintings: flickering between image and idea, identity and experience. Colourful and exotic, the paintings of Candja Candja convert themselves into infinite imaginary manners, an intelligent coexistence between images of African culture and painting-collage’s abstract backgrounds on which the images are introduced and the African memory is activated. 

Text: Victor Pinto da Fonseca


For enquiries or to request the exhibition catalogue please email:

Photo | Manuel Roberto-Porto 

Africa não é banana | Mixed media on canvas

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