Recently, we visited artist David Oliveira in Lisbon at a studio space where he was completing a six-month residency for his current group show. At first glance, his artworks look like ink sketches of animals, but in fact each piece is three-dimensional and constructed using wire.
The workspace was located in an old decrepit building that consisted of ornate architectural elements, old doors and a grand staircase. After waiting in the courtyard outside, Oliveira took us through the staircase where his intricate wire sculptures of animal figures were bound to the walls with thin string.
Oliveira told us he had been working on the show since the beginning of the year. We watched as he installed a piece in a larger room. It was really fascinating to see simple materials having such a strong impact.
Afterwards, we went downstairs where everything was in complete darkness. However, as Oliveira flicked on the light, we realized the room was filled with artworks still in progress. His unfinished and past works were all very experimental and created a unique atmosphere in the space. We spent the rest of our time sharing some Portuguese tarts with him before he bid us farewell and disappeared back into his work.
Photography and text by Sam Wong