Mario Soares is a Mozambican artist based in Johannesburg South Africa. He moved from Mozambique to South Africa in 2008. Soares initially worked as an artist/embroiderer for Boitumelo in Hillbrow, however in 2010 he began his studies at Artist Proof Studio. Soares graduated in 2013 and proceeded to develop his skill in etching. Soares’ medium is printmaking, and he works primarily in etching on steel plates. In his body of work he divulges into the metaphor of the road to explore concepts concerning the processes of growing up, travel and migration. As an immigrant himself, Soares chooses to use faceless and generalised ‘identity-less’ subjects as he feels it gives a voice to the ways in which immigrants seek to make themselves invisible in their new home country, fearful of entrenched xenophobia. In 2014, he became an intern at APS at the Pro-Shop. Soares now works as an independent artist full time fro his studio on Johannesburg.
He has been part of numerous group shows and art fairs both in Johannesburg and in Cape Town.
Since I was a child in Mozambique I knew that I wanted to be an artist. Growing up, I have experienced art through joining other groups of artists. My work at that time wasn’t of a good standard. When I moved to South Africa almost 10 years ago now, my work has developed and gone through many changes and transitions. This exhibition is largely about the life and perspective of people in Mozambique and South Africa.
Since graduating from Artist Proof Studio, I have produced over 60 etchings on steel plates and each time I explore new aspects of intaglio techniques. This is a constant and intense process of discovery and experimentation. In this body of work I have challenged the scale and depth of the images through printing on a large scale and joining plates to make up landscapes and cityscapes that engulf the viewer. In these works perspective and depth are explored and emphasized through the use of colour.”
Image credit: Brainstorm Magazine