(this page was last updated in August 2023)
[This page is being made]
Muriaé, Brazil, 1984
Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Represented by Contempo gallery
PIPA Prize 2023 nominee
Heberth has always been interested in fine arts and became an artist who puts controversial and social themes of everyday life under discussion. He began his artistic career when he took a course in photography that led him to be invited by Vik Muniz to work as his assistant. The artist develops projects in which he uses the support of tiles, paintings, drawings, banknotes, and dolls to build his own language, always focused on the representation of everyday memories, addressing themes of behavior, thoughts, and acts performed through a culture. Always making something present in everyone’s life, the artist’s idea is to take the spectator into his work through a memory. Sobral often uses his personal Instagram account as a kind of open studio, where it is possible to access part of the research process of his most recent projects, also interpreting the app as an archive where he collects, organizes, and publishes images and information regarding the making of each work. His works have been acquired by the Museu Afro in São Paulo, Brazil; the Museu Chácara do Céu in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland; and by private collections in Brazil and Europe.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA Prize 2023:
- Stock and paintings
– “Produzir-Ver-Pensar”, with Pedro França, Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Human Figure, SENAC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Artistic Creation, SENAC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “TROCA”, A+B Gallery, Brescia, Italy
– “Symbola”, Lurixs Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Art Wall-Shopping Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Love City”, Lisboa, Portugal
– “Fornalha”, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Estandarte”, Instituto de Pesquisa e Memória Pretos Novos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Violence is not a joke”, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill/NC, USA
– “Violência não é brincadeira”, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Re.ler. Debret.”, Museu da Chácara do Céu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Brasilitude”, Espace_L, Geneva, Switzerland
– “Novos Horizontes / 新しい展望 – Inside Brazil’s Contemporary Art Scene Vol.1”, NCA- Nichido Contemporary Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
– “Reset 21”, Espaço Cultural Correios de Niterói, Niterói, Brazil
– “E no mar estava escrita uma cidade”, Centro Cultural Laurinda Santos Lobo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Inventário das pequenas epifanias”, Centro de Arte Calouste Gulbenkian, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Somos todos iguais”, Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Arte Core – Festival de Arte, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Bienal de Curitiba, Curitiba, Brazil
– “Diálogos Ausentes”, Galpão Bela Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Festival Lumina, Cascais, Portugal
– “Pensão Artística”, Instituto de Pesquisa e Memória Pretos Novos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Pop-up Show”, Galeria Branco, Cascais, Portugal
– “Fumees”, Hotel Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Atemporal”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Teu na telha”, Morro do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “A Nova Mão Afro-brasileira”, Museu Afro-brasileiro, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Abertura”, Orlando Lemos Galeria, Nova Lima, Brazil
– “ENTRE”, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Gesto Amplificado”, Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Acervo”, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Colecionador Contemporâneo”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– UAMO Festival, Munich, Germany
– “Pestana Art District”, Cidadela, Cascais, Portugal
– “Pensão artística”, Região Portuária, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Museu Afro-brasileiro, São Paulo, Brazil
– Museu da Chácara do Céu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Museé Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
“[Art Wall] Heberth Sobral – Projeto Pregão (part.1)”. Duration: 0’56”
“[Art Wall] Heberth Sobral – Projeto Pregão (part.2)”. Duration: 0’54”
“Interview with Heberth Sobral”, 2022. Duration: 3’52”
“Heberth Sobral Visual Artist”, 2023. Duration: 2’26”
– “Balança Social”
– Cubo Tetris at Parque de Madureira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Play Festival at Oi Futuro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), curated by Tathiana Lopes
– “Índia”, 135 x 75 cm
– Art Wall Brasil Ações I.P.O 1 e A + B Gallery Italia Ações I.P.O 3
– The artist’s Facebook page
- “Daily life” Series
I use toys to create my artistic language, always focused on the representation of daily life. The toy, for me, is a social model; as children, we always play with what we think we will be as adults.
I approach themes of behavior, thoughts, and acts performed through a culture.
By always creating something present in everyone’s life, my idea is to bring the spectator into the artwork through a memory.
- “Tiles” Series
This work arises from a fusion between my work with Playmobil and the Portuguese culture of tiles.
In 2015, I participated in an artist residency in the ART District of Cascais in Portugal, in collaboration with the Pestana Hotel.
In my walks through the city, during the period of the artistic residency, I discovered the sophisticated art, created by the Portuguese, of using tiles to frame and give an identity to their architecture. The elegance and delicacy of the tiles add a historical and authentic coloring to the city.
I got inspired and decided to incorporate this particular form of art into my artistic process to pay homage to the city and the local culture that welcomed me so well.
In the end, we made a permanent wallpaper installation in room 26 of the Pestana Hotel.
- “Cipós” Series
When they cut our umbilical cord, we are born into the world. I created the same analogy for this series of works with the vine.
The vine is the umbilical cord of nature, and when I cut it from the forest, my work is born.
From then on, they will be unique pieces like all the individuals on earth.
The piece represents only itself, and it begins and ends in itself, and it does not represent or mean anything outside of itself.
Something new emerges there that represents itself, with its own identity. I look for the reference for the paintings in several sources: in animals, in body paintings of natives, in fabric prints, or simply from my head. I present them in loops to represent the cycle of life.
- “Windows” Series
These windows are from Muriaé, Minas Gerais, Brazil, where I was born.
One of the desires of people who live in the countryside is to have a truck to do freight and thus get to know Brazil.
To see in person what we could only watch on TV. We stared at the trucks coming and going on the road through the windows in our childhood, wishing we could go with them to other destinations.
Time passed and what made me get to know other places in Brazil and abroad was art.
The window frame represents the time of my childhood when I would stay at the window wishing to see other destinations.
The painting is a kind of window that takes you to a landscape, a trip, and it opens a breach where there is only a wall.
Using the window itself to represent the painting, I create a paradox.
With the window open, you have a wall, and when it’s closed, you have a painting that you can look at and travel.
- “Stocks” Series
It’s a series of small paintings with colors and geometric shapes. Its origin name follows the principle of an action, both in interfering in the order of the paintings and in the stock market shares.
Each square represents a fraction of the work, just like in the stock market, when the more of it is acquired, the higher the percentage of the work. The orders of the 75 works are random according to the particular taste of those who own them.
The Art market is very similar to the financial market. It is not by chance that large banking corporations have their private collections of art: these activities go together.
Some collectors acquired a work from an artist thinking about its valorization, thus increasing its patrimonial value, be it selling in the secondary market or keeping in its collection for a supposed inheritance.
Just like in the stock market, they bet on low stocks to win high or keep the stock to increase their participation in the company. The company that goes public on the stock exchange uses the capital of its shareholders to make investments in its products, the same logic serves for the artist to use the capital of a work sold to reinvest in their works.
For the construction of the visual language of the work, I use parts of the Playmobil doll, which was based on the Bauhaus philosophy of seeking simpler shapes and lines, defined by the function of the object, and along with that I sought references of geometric balance in Russian Constructivism, colors of African paintings and the symbolism of Rubem Valentim.