Donacio’s work is inspired by ‘souvenir-aesthetics’, the cultural clichés of the Canary Islands and, by extension, ‘the fake identities of Spanish kitsch.’ These fantasy compositions of tropical animals and plants mirror the aesthetics of a tourist postcard. Donacio was inspired by a return to his native Canary Islands from Madrid during a period of unemployment. He explains that while there, he became aware of ‘the paradox of being unemployed-unuseful in a context of a tourist area with a strong visual identity of ‘European tropic’ and ‘paradise’ that hides its social reality.’ He therefore began the Papaya Calypso project, ‘a personal research project into the aesthetics of happiness and the flamboyant masks that place a second identity over the Canary Islands.’
Donacio, an architect from the island of El Hierro, has a postgraduate qualification in Temporary Architecture and Set Design. He has been in London for almost two years and is working as Exhibition Designer for MET Studio. He has a parallel career as an illustrator for magazines such as CYANmag, and was selected in 2012 as one of the top eleven emerging graphic artists of the Canary Islands. This is his first exhibition in London.