Carlos Contente

Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1977.
Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro,RJ.

PIPA 2010 nominee.

Video made by Matrioska Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2010.

About the artist

He studied between 1999 and 2005 the painting course at the Escola de Belas Artes –Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. In 2002 he became interested in urban art and started making urban interventions around the town. He combined studies in the School of Fine Arts, the passion for comic books and the practice of graffiti.

He worked as an art educator and published independent comic books, photocopied. He discovered the stencil and began painting in the streets. Repetitions of a self-portrait – that in college, working on canvas, that he tried to reduce until it gets into something like a logo – to play with it – running away far from the edges of the frame, taking it to the urban -fragment it and use it as an element of composition.

He began painting faces for repetitions then use them as a starting point for the invention of characters and stories.
In 2005 he held the solo exhibition “Contente tende a infinito” at Paço Imperial do Rio de Janeiro. He was awarded in Bolívia in 2005 at the La Paz Art Biennial. Then came the solo exhibitions “Contente tende a infinito” at A Gentil Carioca in Rio de Janeiro and “Tende a infinito dois” in 2006, at Galeria Luisa Strina in São Paulo.

He returned to Paço Imperial in 2007 with the solo exhibition “Auto retratos também” and one urban intervention in Bangkok: painting during 3 days a 80 meters wall in a suburb and after a graffiti in a club (Bed Supper Club).
In 2008, he participated in the ARCO art fair in Madrid with a solo project and with 4 other friends they showed the exhibition “Zoation Painting”, at National Art Museum from La Paz, Bolivia. At the end of the year he participated in a artistic residency at Darling Foundry, in Montreal, Canada and in February 2009 exposed cutouts of drawings in a shop window in the same city.

Then, a solo project with Gentil Carioca at ARCO art fair in Madrid called “Náusea”, while he was participating in the group exhibition “Nova Arte Nova” at CCBB in Rio and in São Paulo. On July at the solo exhibition “Compradores de Mundo” at Galeria A Gentil Carioca and in October at La Paz Biennial, again.
In 2010 solo project at Zona Maco fair in México – an installation with drawings on vinyl records of Brazilian music, participation in a festival of urban interventions called Fugue Urbaine, in Montreal and the group exhibition “Like tears in the rain” curated by Ana Luisa Teixeira de Freitas at Palácio das Artes, in Porto, Portugal. Currently his work is defined as drawing.

He likes to works directly on the exhibition space wall. The self portrait, called Contente becomes implanted in multiple and absurd bodies, such as strange characters that make up fictions equally absurd, where text and image are combined. Is directed to meet the image with the word and make legible occupying space as a page of comics. He is interested in the invasive nature of the trace on the wall and the implementation of incisive humor.

“The almost maniac work of Contente multiplication in inside and outside venues; the nonsense and perverse humor of the elaborated stories; the strong desire for communication, as stated by the artist himself: all these are elements that grant to Carlos Contente’s work a quality that ironically challenges the most canonical parameters for a work of art. Already circulating through legitimating art spaces, his drawings seem to reveal the critical regard of the author on institutionalized values and moral and artistic standards, as if they, indeed, were in fact quite crazy.” – Cristina Salgado

Represented by: A Gentil Carioca.

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