Meeting Nelo Teixeira in the language of collage
In this Special Project, Nelo Teixeira’s sketchbook was our source of inspiration – and also functioned as the common language between us and the Portuguese-speaking artist.
This most remote of collaborations – across countries and language barriers – was paradoxically intimate, dynamic and exciting, afforded by the immediacy of his sketches, our absolute reliance on visual communication and the collaborative trust
required for this unique situation.
Teixeira’s sketchbook is crammed with collages created from the detritus left where the Chicala neighbourhood (his former home) once stood. Speaking to the problem of gentrification at the cost of demolished communities, he constructs rich patinas out of the scraps and rubble, the materials torn, cut, juxtaposed and further worked with layers of paint.
In the translation to screen print, the found objects in Teixeira’s collages presented a wonderful challenge. Referencing the commercial printing process marking much of the waste paper scraps and cut outs, we used the traditional CMYK colour separation process with dot screens, which produced a beautiful, self-referential mimicry of the original source materials. On top of the CMYK dot screen layers we printed a few extra layers of spot colours, masking the screens with painted emulsion to echo Teixeira’s painted brush marks.
The result is something quite spectacular – and now available as a seven-colour Special Project edition of just 25.
(Portrait of Teixeira courtesy of This is not a white cube gallery)