Francisco Vidal was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1978, and he now lives and works between Luanda, Angola and Lisbon, Portugal.
He was awarded his MFA by Columbia University in New York, NY, USA in 2010, after having earned a BA from Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal in 2002, and completing the Independent Study Programme at Mamaus School of Visual Arts in Lisbon, Portugal in 2005.
Vidal is best known for his paintings and drawings which bring together bold colour and pattern on handmade paper or canvas, often tiled together to create installations. The artist’s work playfully blends various aesthetic influences, including Cubism, African wax-print textiles, and 1980s hip-hop culture, as well as contemporary graffiti and street art. Born in Portugal to Angolan and Cape Verdean parents, the artist deals with ideas which are closely tied to the diaspora experience, examining narratives and identities which arise from a hybrid of cross-cultural upbringing. Colonial histories and their consequences are interrogated in his work, with a strong emphasis on the impact of labour practices, conflict and violence.
Recent solo exhibitions include Estúdio, Lumiar Cité, Maumaus School of Visual Arts, Lisbon, Portugal (2017); Luuanda Rising, Wozen Studio, Luanda, Angola (2017); a solo project at Focus: African Perspectives, The Armory Show, New York, NY, USA (2016); Utopia Luanda Experience – Arquitectura da Paz, Baginski Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal (2016); Workshop Maianga Mutamba, Tiwani Contemporary, London, UK (2015); and Água e Luz, Instituto Camões, Luanda, Angola (2014).
The artist exhibited as part of the Angolan Pavilion for at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, as well as the 2015 Expo Milano in Milan, Italy. In 2017, his work was shown as part of the Afropolitan Festival at Bozar in Brussels, Belgium, and in 2018, his work will be included in Encontro em Macau, the Sino-Lusophone Cultural and Arts Festival. Other group exhibitions include Artes Mirabilis, UCCLA – Union of Portuguese Speaking Capitals Cities, Lisbon, Portugal (2018); Metamorphosis, Jahmek Contemporary, Luanda, Angola (2018); Portugal-Portugueses, Museu Afrobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil (2016); and Glocal – No Regional de um Espaço Sem Fronteiras, Wozen Studio, Luanda, Angola (2016).
Vidal’s work is included in Portuguese collections such as that of the EDP Foundation, PLMJ Foundation, and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, as well as the Scheryn Art Collection in South Africa.