If we’re talking of profound visual impression, Pedro Campiche, or AKACorleone, stands out from the attentive crowd with such a nonchalant attitude that I almost forget, for a moment, that he was the one who painted a big part of Village from top to bottom in its earlier times. It’s still quite impossible to miss out on this project, the several faces of different containers that have resisted to the passage of time and the intervention from other artists who come and go, a blatant sign of the perpetually moving winds of change.
It was in 2014 that AKACorleone climbed on the scaffoldings, undeniable partners of many hours of work painting on a huge scale, and adorned the surfaces of these metallic giants so that a new home could be born here and evolved. “When I had my first exhibition at Underdogs, ‘Find Yourself in Chaos’, I wanted to have a project out of doors and challenged Mariana… In fact, I can’t even remember if she wasn’t the one challenging me. It must’ve been, since I don’t think I’d have that crazy idea of painting the containers right off the bat. I’d probably always need that push. What I made had a lot to do with what I was doing on the exhibition, which was playing with anamorphic perspective and points of view a little bit different from I usually made, and the containers were perfect for this. Village wanted to take a risk; I was the first person who painted this colossal area, and I feel like it ended up helping to create an identity for it. I’m very proud of it”, he tells me.
Before this disruptive village of ours appeared, Mariana already followed Pedro’s work, probably one of the driving motives for this strong bet on his work, which ended up reflecting on such a dead-on outcome. “Mariana was definitely one of the first people to believe in me”, he says. And for good reason.
Seeing Village as a platform for many artists to succeed in different fields is also to get a glimpse of the people who were part of it since the beginning, were gone when they had to be gone and later returned, whichever way. It’s sort of a boomerang effect “where people know they’ll find something a little bit different. When I think of Village and come here, I have the feeling that’s constantly changing for the best, that there’s always something new, a container painted differently by someone I don’t know, and then I research it and I immediately get access to someone that’s just starting”, just like he was when he first got his hands on those containers, forever branded with his inimitable strokes.
A place that keeps on surprising us without us even realizing it, let us just say, thanks to the freedom of expression and speech from those who plan Village’s day to day routine and those who also accept these challenges shaped as walls that inspire and seduce. “Those who know Mariana know how she’s a force of nature who can take care of business and do surreal things. In the beginning, Village was exactly this. There was the Village Underground in London, but it seemed to much complicated to do something like that in Lisbon, but it happened, and now it’s transformed into a cultural hub with concerts, exhibitions, markets. I’ve already seen such different things here I don’t even know. Most of all, there’s a part of Village that’s growing along with the city, always changing, always following its path”. Or perhaps it’s the city that’s following Village’s path