Second place at PIPA Online 2023: check out André Mendes’ testimonial on his campaign

PIPA Online was created in 2010, during the first edition of the PIPA Prize. As soon as we announced the then four finalists, the public’s interest seemed to be concentrated only on them. On the other hand, there were still another 72 artists participating that year who deserved to have their work disseminated. From this reflection came the idea of ​​PIPA Online: we would use the power of the popular vote and the internet to be able to promote more artists, especially those outside the big urban centers. Over the years, some campaigns have stood out for their strategies with communities. In this 14th edition of PIPA Online, we once again had a positive and engaging movement.

After two rounds of voting, with 70 artists participating in the first and 10 artists in the second, the Retratistas do Morro collective reached the first place in PIPA Online 2023, and André Mendes reached the second.

André Mendes holds a degree in Graphic Design from PUC-PR. His research and production are focused on drawing, painting, sculpture, installations, and spatial interventions. He is interested in the materiality of color and its behavior as a fluid, and his work overflows and also flirts with other surfaces of the world around him – sculptural and architectural. André embraces the imprecision that permeates practices and promotes encounters and experiences between techniques and languages. Among his main solo exhibitions are “LADOS LADOS,” 2022, at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Curitiba, Brazil, where he not only exhibited but also conducted more than 10 workshops open to the public and guided tours. “Ainda não,” 2019, Matèria Gallery, Rome, Italy, “ESTADO,” 2018, Zilda Fraletti Gallery, Curitiba, Brazil, “Antes do Fim,” 2018, Cloitre des Billettes, Paris, France, Solo Project Art Basel 2016, Ricardo Fernandes Gallery, Basel, Switzerland. André is a specialist in murals and works on projects as an artist, muralist, and art educator.

Read below the testimonial that the artist shared with us, telling more about his participation in the Prize and the surprises throughout the PIPA Online campaign:

“Being nominated for the PIPA Prize already represents a very significant achievement. For many years, I followed the artistic scene with admiration, hoping to be part of the selected artists. For me, the PIPA Institute is like a living archive of Brazilian contemporary art production, a true reference source.

PIPA Online is not a competition, it is an opportunity for artists to strengthen their connections and come together as a powerful collective, amplifying the visibility of all participants. This collective movement not only boosts Brazilian contemporary art, but also enriches the relevance of this prestigious award.

In the first phase of the prize, I found the dynamic in which the public had to vote for at least three participants to validate their vote interesting. This approach not only encourages research by the public, but also exponentially increases the visibility of all artists involved.

I confess that, on the first day, there were mixed emotions regarding my participation. Uncertainty hung in the air, and it was difficult to predict people’s support for the campaign. The goal of reaching 500 votes seemed challenging. However, gradually, I was surprised by an organic collective movement permeated by affection and shared appreciation.

To maximize my reach, I developed a succinct video presenting both the PIPA Prize and my own work. I used my social networks to disseminate my participation, contextualizing it and encouraging public participation. Additionally, I’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to vote, making the process more accessible. But I didn’t work alone, throughout the week I got in touch with those closest to me asking them to help with the promotion, and again, I was surprised by the magnitude of engagement, affection and energy coming from this warm collective. Composed of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and people in my life, this movement of genuine support has touched my heart deeply, undoubtedly representing my greatest victory on this journey.

Each vote received was not just a number, but a tangible demonstration of how dedication and passion for art can unite people and transcend barriers. I sincerely thank everyone who was part of this trajectory and who shared this achievement with me. The PIPA Online Prize is not just an individual honor, but a tribute to the collective strength of the Brazilian artistic community.”

The artist sent us a photo from his cell phone’s camera roll, a record of the several times he recorded the video for the campaign, until he reached the final result:

Watch André Mendes’ video interview below, produced by Do Rio Filmes  exclusively for this year’s edition of the Prize:

Get to know more about André Mendes accessing his page here.


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