Biography

Hugo Israel (Lisbon, 1978) is a multifaceted, provoking, and contradictory artist, who as an agent of creation engages with interdisciplinary arts to challenge the rules in which the subjectivity of the public’s appreciation for art rests.

Having completed a postgraduate course in Strategic Communication & Media Advising, his professional career —on top of having written on performative arts and dance for urban culture magazines— stems from the fields of advertising and mass media. Via platforms such as photography, performances & installations, the artist uses his body to explore the mediations of his ego and to transcend its conditions while creating works of autobiographic influence.

Ranging from pop art to visual poetics, using contrast and provocation, his works provide means for interacting with the performativity of the “ego”, reflecting on universal concepts such as love, the human ego, trauma, and the diverse shades of emptiness created by juxtaposition, all of which were ideas first explored in his collection of poems Amor ah Tona (2007) under the pseudonym Hugo Villier.

The body is his main means of expression, be it in performance or photography, his own or others’. This is demonstrated in Under Bible, where he considers how important faith in oneself is in order to achieve self-fulfillment, or in Girls Can Be Nasty, which discovers the redemption hidden in the pain of rapturous feminine bodies.

This is the energy that his art imbues. For example, works such as Garden of Eden, where the artist portrays tedious rejection caused by the fugacity of homosexuality, or Where Is My Placenta?, in which he reflects upon how could one bear the pain caused by teen pregnancy and if the decision of ending it prematurely could be justified.

His artistic productions have been extended towards more participative methods of engaging with the urban space and the subjectivity of its residents. Consider, for example, Burnout —Prato do Dia, where attendees broke plates, which bore their daily written frustrations, against the wall, or also Desdormir, where attendees wrote down the thoughts that keep them awake at night and ultimately watched them burn. The result is always simple but overt, an exercise of sublimation that stems from the darkest places of the human sentiment.

1978

Born in Lisbon (PT)

Lives and works in Mallorca, Lisbon (ES-PT)

2004/05

Studied at ISLA Lisbon (PT)

2006/07

IFICT Lisbon (PT)

2006/2007

Studied at Lusiada University, Lisbon (PT)

2007

Studied at Arco, Lisbon (PT)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016

Ways, Mallorca (ES) – working in progress

2015

Nativity Scene, Associação Passeio Público, Lisbon (PT)

Exhibition at Casa Planas, Mallorca (ES)

Analog Screen Absence, Exhibition at IAHP, Mallorca (ES)

Exhibition at CAC Sesvoltes for Nite de L’art, Mallorca (ES)

2014

Paitings and draws, Sevilla (ES)

Draws, Dahkla, (SH)

2013

Essay about personality, Bangkok (BK)

Made in Vietnam, shoes collection, Vietnam (VNM)

2012

Lisbon’s Museum of Fashion and Design

Love, Amelie Store to Vogue Fashion Night Out (PT)

2010

Burnout prato do dia, Chiado After Work, Lisbon (PT)

2009

My meat is your meat, Lisbon (PT)

Under Bible, Lisbon (PT)

Embryo, Lisbon (PT)

My Placenta is in the wrong place, Lisbon (PT)

Demons Can be fun, Lisbon (PT)

Girls Can Be Nasty, Lisbon (PT)

I Wanna Be A Porrn Star, Lisbon (PT)

2008

Performing arts interviews, Lisbon (PT)

2007

Amor Ah Tona, Poetry book, Lisbon (PT)

2006

Bottom Virgin, Lisbon (PT)

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015

Exhibition at Poble Español for Arte Vision, Mallorca (ES)

2014

Unsomething, Cidadela Art District, Cascais(PT)

2013

Made in Vietnam, shoes collection, Vietnam (VNM)

2010

1+1=3, Pop Up Lisboa, Lisbon (PT)

2009

Self Defense Mechanisms, Pop Up Lisboa, Lisbon (PT)

Projects

2016

View Point, Mallorca (ES) work in progress

2015

I.A.H.P. Ilegal house art project, Arenal, Mallorca (ES)

2010

Pop Up Lisboa, Urban Culture Festival, Lisbon (PT)

2009

Pop Up Lisboa, Urban Culture Festival, Lisbon (PT)

BlueScreen, Yron Gallery, Lisbon (PT)

2008

Performing arts interviews, Lisbon (PT)

2007

Amor Ah Tona, Poetry book, Lisbon (PT)