Artist in (My) Residence
Hildebrando de Melo arrived at JFK airport from Angola via Lisbon and Amsterdam one week ago today. He is here to do an artist's residency, the Center's first. The resulting paintings will form the solo exhibition at the Festival in June. Our plan was to have him here early to give us a chance to frame works, create a catalog, and become acclimated to the works a while. Then, he'll come back in June for the opening. He'll also be giving a presentation/interview about his work at the Festival.
I have lived around hard workers my entire life--raised on a farm--but I don't know that I've ever seen anybody so intensely productive and entirely focused as Hildebrando. He is awake every day around 4 a.m. He paints most of the day without stopping for a break, and he only slows down when the sun sets.
His manner of working is intuitive, kinetic, and organic. He came with ideas, certainly--he brought with him a large sculptural component for one of the works--but he gets into the groove to see what will happen next and how one image will be brought in harmony by another.
My apartment has become his New York atelier. Never has the word "studio" seemed so right.