André Saraiva Franco-Swedish, b. 1971

Art was the first way André Saraiva, at a very young age chose to express himself and put a mark on the world. He was born in Sweden from Portuguese parents, yet grew up on the outskirts of Paris. Tagging his name on the neighborhood's walls was an urgent declaration of his existence. Then, he refined his style and found his iconic signature: the Mr A. figure. As such he was one of the first artists in the 80s to use this kind of logotype as his signature. He became identified with his iconic, cartoonish character: a round-headed figure with long limbs and a circle and a cross for eyes, a subject that recurred in Saraiva's early canvas paintings.


Quickly he went beyond the graffiti ways in order to share his vision of the contemporary world. In the 2000s, Saraiva began a performative project called "Love Graffiti" in which he would spray paint the name of someone's lover at an address of his or her choosing. His later works continued to employ line, text, and clean-edged geometry. In 2004, he exhibits at the Parco Museum in Tokyo and in 2006 takes part in the "La Force de l'Art" show in Grand Palais in Paris. In his conceptual series "Dream Concerts" he pastes fake concerts posters, presenting them in museums such as the MoCA LA. In 2009, he is part of the "Vraoum" show at the Maison Rouge Foundation. In 2012, he created a large-scale installation titled "Andrépolis", resembling a city based on Paris and New York in miniature scale with neon lighting. In 2014, he is also shown by the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, Germany.


From his iconic grinding Mr A. face, his style has evolved into a more conceptual practice. From the mere line more has emerged. The line became an icon, which in true pervasive ways has spread and contaminated the world. His art can be seen as a whole invading all parts of his ventures. In a talented way, André has touched many various techniques like most recently traditional Portuguese baked tiles to make a whole tiled wall in the heart of Lisbon.


His works have been shown in museums and contemporary art galleries around the world, with this monumental wall of tiles installed in Lisbon in 2016. Now an established hotelier, restaurateur, and nightlife pioneer, André Saraiva has never put away his artistic inspiration. He sees every one of his many ventures as part of the same irreverent lifelong art project. One that he always approaches with a wink, just like his iconic graffitied alter-ego, Mr. A.