Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1990, Andre Ruiz de Freitas, aka decolife, has been making art since he was three years old, painting on little stones or pieces of wood that he found on the streets, which he would then give away to his friends and family.
He first used drawing as a way to keep a personal diary and started experimenting with graffiti at the age of 13, when he was hanging out around São Paulo's skate parks with his friends. Around this time, Andre started using the moniker decolife when painting in several cities across Brazil as he took part in many street art events around the country.
In his words: "Most of my paintings are self-portraits and reflect my life experiences. Even after all these years, I still use my art as a personal illustrated diary, telling stories I often pick up from memories while also adding new elements as I go along".
Upon moving to Europe, he has traveled across several countries for two years, painting and often living from his artwork to buy food, transport, and accommodation. Inspired by the world and the people around him, his art is full of cultural references and mythological stories—many taken from his own Brazilian culture and upbringing as well as his experiences on the road. Visiting the leading museums in every country he has been to, his art gets reshaped and always keeps its characteristics of bold colours, outlines and distortions.
'Decolife' has a particular interest in abstract art. His non-figurative nor representative pieces are almost a spiritual experience for the viewer, detaching them from any worldly perspective exploring an unknown reality. He claims that his abstract pieces are realistic, an unknown side that is real to him. These pieces are "individual existence that flourishes by their own".
In street art, decolife's colourful murals have been a regular fixture on the streets of Camden Town, South and East London, getting both public and critical acclaim. Over the last few years, he has built a strong body of work, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages, and mosaics. He has been participating in art fairs and group exhibitions since 2010 and had solo exhibitions at art galleries in São Paulo, Istanbul, and London.