Maxwell Alexandre, one of the winners of PIPA Prize 2020, presents a new solo show, New Power, at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, France, from November 26th. Hugo Vitrani, the curator, highlights that “Maxwell Alexandre paints black bodies in white cubes. Bodies of children, guardians and adults occupy the artist’s paintings. They turn their backs to us while turning their eyes away from a Eurocentric history of art”. New Power targets the world of contemporary art, its market, and its white cubes, and other “white spaces”, such as territories of power where racial and social struggle ossify.
The artist takes to Europe his main symbols, the Brazilian police, shining gold chains, baths of greenbacks, symbols related to football or church, and others from his everyday life. He also reveals characters of pop culture (the black Power Ranger), symbols of advertising and logos of popular brands (Danone and its dairy products, Capri and its inflatable plastic swimming pools in the rooftops of favelas), and iconic personalities (rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac before they wanted to kill each other; Jay-Z and Beyonce who shot a music video in the Louvre; or political personalities such as Marielle Franco, a black and lesbian elected official assassinated in 2018).
Maxwell Alexandre paints Afro-Brazilians in their power, their emancipation against a backdrop of the American dream. He states, “Sometimes, you have to hit racism in the face, but I’m not brave enough to actually hit anyone, so instead, I paint.”
New Power, with Maxwell Alexandre
Curated by Hugo Vitrani
From November 26th, 2021 to March 20th, 2022
Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris
Every day except Tuesday, from midday to midnight