As if alive, Sonia Gomes’ sculptures slither down the walls and from ceilings. They are immobile but their anthropomorphic forms, both bulbous and straggly, curve and dangle like a snake in waiting. Gomes is an artist of African descent living in rural Brazil. She brings her African heritage into her work – in focusing on craft, in using textiles. The material of textiles is an external material, something used to cloak and protect the body. But in Gomes’ work, textiles are stripped into infinitely looping rope-like forms that look more like the internal nerves of the body than anything that might be reportedly protective.
Combing through images of Rosana Paulino‘s has the immediate impression of wading through someone’s personal memory box. But the pleasantness ends pretty quickly. Her subject matter is charged and complicated. As an Afro-Latina, Paulino’s artwork explores the trauma and difficulty of being an African in Latin America, particularly by bringing forward conversations of the region’s slavery. In several works, she takes a taxonomical approach by using photographs of black naked bodies, that allow – and implicate – the viewer in looking at the bodies as an object, like a master would have looked at a slave. She incorporates sewing, as a motif and as a technique, literally weaving her current practice into years of history.
Some more contemporary Brazilian artists: Ana Mazzei, Laura Lima, Anna Bella Geiger, Jac Leirner, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Ana Maria Tavares, Marlon de Azambuja, Rivane Neuenschwander, Flávio Cerqueira, Dalton Paula, Jaime Lauriano, and Maxwell Alexandre.