Abidiel Vicente (Brazilian, 1975), works and resides in São Paulo, Brazil. Before becoming an artist, Vicente designed and crafted window-displays for fashion labels until 2008, when he shifted professional gears. Using scrap materials from his displays and other abandoned, found-objects such as steel barrels discarded by oil companies, Vicente began to experiment with sculpture—marking his foray into fine art production.
Vicente first became known for his handmade serigraph paintings (a labor-intensive form of printmaking using silkscreens) in a distinctly Pop style, however, from the outset the artist displayed immense control over a wide range of mediums. Repurposing these deserted steel oil-drums, Vicente began to use apply spray-paint and silkscreen techniques to their surfaces—creating a materialized interpretation of recognizable Western brands. In this early period of his career, Vicente filled Shell and Hess oil barrels with water and psychiatric, prescription drugs like Clonazepam, and Prozac to address the over-consumption of such medications and the aggressive marketing strategies employed by the pharmaceutical industry.
Honing his skills in silkscreen and other artistic mediums, Vicente has continued to manipulate identifiable branding and marketing imagery in order to place commentary on our heavily commercialized, capitalist society. In keeping with the values of the Pop Art movement, Vicente often satirizes familiar advertising images of brands such as Paramount Pictures, Kellogg’s, and Marlboro by referencing the gendered, sexualized, and political nature of capitalism and its effects on our lives.
Vicente has also come to be recognized for his work with fellow Brazilian Pop artist, Houssein Jarouche. In series such as Astronaut Quadrichomie (2015), based on an iconic image of the model, Jean Shrimpton (originally taken by Richard Avedon) Jarouche and Vicente paint a black line across the subject’s eyes—rendering her anonymous. In Astronaut Quadrichomie, the pair superimpose various symbols such a compass or a triple “X” atop each image, giving every variation a subtly new meaning based on its adapted environment.