The Portuguese coastal town of Cascais near Lisbon recently saw the opening of Europe’s first hotel-managed arts district inside a recently renovated Renaissance-era fortress, run by Pousada de Cascais Cidadela Historic Hotel. Their “Arts District” project invited six artists for a year-long residency, during which their studios as well as five new art galleries will be open to public. Also, resident artists will create site-specific works as well as hotel room installations in order showcase their work to their guests. This year’s artists list include Pedro Matos, Bruno Pereira, Paulo Brighenti, Duarte Amaral Netto, Susana Anágua and Paulo Arraiano.

For his part, the Lisbon and London-based Matos created a new works entitled the Hole Series in which he further developed the familiar theme of change and decay often seen in his previous painting. One of his recognizable elements, painting layers and rips, evolved even further into a minimalist dimension with these pieces. Created with fire and acrylic, Matos painted layers of rips around a blow torched hole in the middle of canvas, creating an effective illusion of depth and dimension. Moving away from his figurative works, these pieces feel very contemporary while still recognizably photorealistic upon closer examination. The series features two large (120 x 100 cm), and four smaller pieces (40 x 30 cm).