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Ilídio Candja Candja was Born in 1976 in Maputo, Mozambique

Ilídio Candja Candja blends Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting, characterized by confident brush strokes and colors inspired by his African heritage. His painted collages intertwine cultural reflections and personal symbology, giving rise to restless figures within a unique mythology. Impulsive gestures reference Action Painting, creating blurred entities amid layered geometrical elements and African-inspired motifs.

After studying at the National School of Visual Arts in Maputo, Candja Candja relocated to Porto, Portugal, gaining international recognition within two years. His large, colorful canvases echo a playful quality, drawing upon African symbols. The narrative components serve as a testament to his identity and roots. Candja Candja’s art creates a universal language by seamlessly integrating handmade objects and ancient artifacts from his African imagination. Collage becomes a modern tool inseparable from his artistic essence. His work is an aesthetic and cultural practice, inviting the audience to inhabit a world where art invents ways of understanding. Through a remix of past, present, and future, he bridges the vibrant hues of African culture with abstract backgrounds, activating memories of Africa. In this evolving dialogue between roots and the world, Candja Candja, now based in Porto, Portugal, explores the intersections of identity, experience, and an infinite imaginary, shaping a unique narrative within the global artistic landscape.

“Illídio’s painting isn’t about creating a critical position, but instead is an artistic, aesthetics and cultural practice analogous to those who are guided by a free behavior, starting from the premise that art invents ways of inhabiting the world. The artist proposes to us to inhabit his world, sending us an effective message of things that he is sensitive to, including those that concern him from a remix of thoughts and ideas of the past, present and future.

The African experience of Ilídio Candja became several experiments determinative to the structure of his paintings: flickering between image and idea, identity and experience. Colorful and exotic, the paintings of Candja convert themselves into infinite imaginary manners, an intelligent coexistence between images of African culture and painting-collage’s abstract backgrounds on which the images are introduced and the African memory is activated” (Victor Pinto da Fonseca).