Bruno Gaspar illustrates scenes from Alvalad’s life with animals

His art is born from the landscapes of his days. Bruno Gaspar, 42, photographed Macau, where he lived, and Leria, where he grew up. For now, until he sets out on a new adventure, the streets of Alvalade and, above all, the life of Avenida da Igreja, are the subject of his illustrations, which are always interspersed with rather unusual characters.

He was born in Paris, in an environment that left him a “pet” of artistic creativity. He graduated in art history and made animated cinema, but that was not his specialty. It needs ‘instant’ results and there’s a ‘second of image’ consisting of 24 drawings. Getting to the end of the day after two or three seconds wasn’t satisfactory.

He photographed, drew and drew, and his taste for ethnographic cinema led him to hold a film festival, which until 2018 had five copies – cinANTROP. He has traveled around the Asian continent, and although he is considering moving to Denmark, he lives in Lisbon. It was the city that received him at the age of 18, coming from the village of the county of Leiria, which from the age of three had been his home.

In 2013, he left Caminha for a tour of the Portuguese coast on his old Macal motorcycle. Books about the trip to the newspapers Sun And meAccompanied by his texts with photography and drawing. His adventures within and outside the frontiers stopped for the time being and he returned to Lisbon.

Today, it is already “more of Lisbon than Leiria”. He lives in Alvalad and before he becomes Bruno Gaspard, in the afternoon, in the morning, he is Casper Andersen. “It’s a way to get out of myself and take this 40-year journey,” he says. Casper is responsible for the illustrations for neighborhood life.

It charts the life of Avenida da Igreja, one of the city’s busiest neighborhood streets, and punctuates traditional scenes through the personification of animals and curious objects. Cars parked in the third and fourth rows, rows of roast chicken at the Rio de Mel Grill, ice cream at Conchanata or people walking the streets on a weekend morning.

In the afternoon, he has given up his alternate Danish vanity to call himself again as Bruno Gaspar, in his studio on Avenida Gago Coutinho, where he pursues a different act of artistic creativity, where he feels “more comfortable” – in painting.

“Casper Andersen thinks so.”

He lives there, near the hotel, and commutes every day on his bike along Avenida da Igreja. He absorbs the life he finds and translates what he sees on paper, embodying his changing egos. “There are people I meet every day, they walk. Then I fixed them.” And then, he says, there are people he “mixes” with.

“It’s Casper Andersen who thinks so.” He is a “very simple character. He has a mustache and a pipe”, but it is not his habit to appear. He asserts that the number “doesn’t have much explanation”. Animals also “have no symbolism at all”. It is common to ask him: “Why a giraffe?”. The answer is easy: “for nothing.” But it is still possible to trace the relationship between the nature of the animals, the objects he chooses, and the conditions of the urban landscape he depicts.

The vinyl, opposite the Carcassonne pastry shop, faces the shop head-on for a reason. “It used to be a nightclub. And since it’s an ’80s disco, I kind of fantasize about the vinyl frozen in time. Sometimes, there’s this association,” which is also found in the Pastel de nata store, which takes a Berlin ball in a line, or in ice Conchanata Cream, with flavors that attract penguins.

Illustration of the Carcassone sweet shop, on Avenida da Igreja. Illustration: Bruno Gaspar

At the Rio de Mel, a street grill known for its long lines to take home roast chicken, along with other lesser-known grills, Bruno Gaspar uses “contrast.” A pig with its handbag passes the line consisting of a woman, a slice of pizza and a sausage.

It’s Casper, because he’s Gaspar, and Andersen because, recently, he had the opportunity to live in Odense, Denmark, where Hans Christian Andersen was born. If so, “Imagine I’m Casper Andersen.” While the change does not materialize, Casper is his “puppet”, who he turns to during the morning explaining Alvalade’s life.

And among the people he meets in the parish are drivers who do not respect him on the road. Those, sometimes he replaces them with camels. “I really like unusual silly situations, getting caught in Nonsense‘I don’t bother with everything, but these things bother me: the sutter, who must be a polite man, for he is a coach, puts [o carro] In the fourth grade.

At Pomar de Alvalade, a restaurant next to Avenida da Igreja where nails are eaten, among other dishes, a woman shares a table with a nail. On the next table is a hammer. “These are not very clever jokes,” Bruno says. “If you don’t want to, don’t laugh. If you like this technique, great. If they don’t like it, that’s not a problem either.

Illustration by Casper Andersen, depicting Piazza Pomar de Alvalade. Illustration: Bruno Gaspar

Bruno Gaspar Church Street in the Coruchéus مكتبة Library

When he paints the Dos Corocheos Library building, he paints a cat that usually appears to him. It is there that the exhibition “In the morning I am Kasper Andersen” is exhibited.

Until April 29, the works of the alternate Danish figure of Bruno Gaspar can be visited at that municipal facility in the parish of Alvalade, near Avenida da Igreja.

Soon, Bruno says, there may be a multi-volume book publication of Kasper Andersen’s work.

Frederico Raposo

He was born in Lisbon, 30 years ago, but has always made his life on the cusp of the city. I rarely went there. He started living in Lisbon when he started his university studies. It is an unfulfilled city yet. More or less like the others. Sustainable, progressive, with space and opportunity for all people – these are the ideas that make up your step into the streets. The way he travels—almost always by bike—, the use he makes of spaces, and the press he produces.

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