(this page was last updated in May 2019)
Born in São Luís, Brazil, 1981
Lives and works in São Luís, Brazil.
Represented by Galeria Cavalo and Gamma Galería.
PIPA 2014 finalist.
PIPA 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2018 nominee.
Thiago Martins de Melo develops studies in the field of painting, presenting polysemic and densely narrative discussions through his work. The visual nature of his work is fundamental. Martins de Melo’s practice is situated in a revisionary tense: it refers to cultural memory via a medium endowed with historicity, i.e. painting, and contemporaneously reinvents historical characters, culturally diverse populations and Brazil’s spiritual, peasant, mythical, indigenous and African entities. These characters are called upon to return to the battle ground on the artist’s canvases, conveying their struggle and their history.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2018:
In the mix of cosmogony and cosmology which arises from Thiago Martins de Melo’s painting, strong gestures, vibrant colors and intense scenes invest us with a violent, inescapable sense of urgency and transformation. Through complex schemes, marked by several layers of symbolism, themes such as body image, sexuality, social turmoils and political convulsions are communicated in a vertiginous speed, forming a whirlwind of multiple anachronisms which combine autobiographical scenes from the artist’s domestic life and public events belonging Brazilian history – both those stamped in the country’s social imaginary as well as those programmatically neglected from it.
In his large-scale canvases – which often develop beyond the bidimensional realm, through video and sculptural installations – we see diverse folks and spiritual entities in the battlefield, claiming their histories when facing wars, tormentors and icons appropriated by the biopower structures of western society. In this sense, the artist hopes to point out the existing fractures in the times and truth regimes which encompass them, opening up space so that these cultural manifestations – violated every day day-by-day by genocides and epistemicides – rise to the surface in an oniric and idealized sparkle, capable of blowing the universal and continuous force of resistance, insurgency, revolt and revolution.
Thiago Martins de Melo (São Luis, 1981) lives and works in São Luis and Campinas. He has participated in countless group exhibitions, including “The World is Made of Stories,” Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2015/2016); “Imagine Brazil”, DHC/Art Foundation For Contemporary Art, Montreal (2015/2016); “The Boiling Point” PSM-Gallery, Berlin (2015); the 31st São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo (2014); “Meanwhile… Suddenly, and Then,” the 12th Lyon Biennial, Lyon (2013); “Os Primeiros 10 Anos” [“The First 10 Years”], Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2011). His solo shows include “Teatro Nagô-cartesiano e o Corte Azimutal do Mundo,” Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2013) and “Thiago Martins de Melo,” Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2011).
His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; the Rubell Family Collection, Miami; the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro – Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection; the Museum of Art of Rio, Rio de Janeiro; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Ceará, Fortaleza and the Museum of the State of Pará, Belém.
– “The Revolution Will Be Televised in These Multimedia Paintings”, piece by Rodrigo Campuzano published in The Creators Project website (03/2016)
– MA Psychology: Behavioral Theory and Research, UFPA, Belém, Brazil
– BA, Psychology, UNICEUMA, Sao Luis, Brazil
– “bárbaro barroco”, Gamma Galeria, Guadalajara, Mexico
– “bárbara balaclava”, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil
– “bárbara balaclava”, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Teatro Nagô-cartesiano e o Corte Azimutal do Mundo”, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Thiago Martins de Melo”, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
– Exhibition Program at Centro Cultural São Paulo, Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil
– “Verzuimd Braziel – Brasil Desamparado”, CNI SESI SENAI Marcantonio Vilaça Prize for the plastical Arts, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil
– “/Simultâneos/”, MAC-CE – Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil
– “Os três cavaleiros do apocalipse”, Gamma Galeria, Guadalajara, Mexico
– “Travessia 5: Emergência”, Galpão Bela Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– 6th Marcantonio Vilaça Prize, MuBE – Museu Brasileiro da Escultura e Ecologia, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Queermuseu – Cartografias da diferença na América Latina”, Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, Brazil
– Dobra-Festival Internacional de Cinema Experimental, Cinemateca do MAM, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “L’île aux mythes / Souvenir de Mwene Mutapa – Cartographie exotique d’une collection”, École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, Bourges, France
– “South-South: Let me begin again”, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
– “A luz que vela o corpo é a mesma que revela a tela”, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Contemporary Brazilian Art from the Rubell Family Collection”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, US
– “Documentos da barbárie”, 8º semana dos realizadores, Espaço Itaú de Cinema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Orixás”, Casa França–Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Adornos do Brasil Indígena: resistências contemporâneas”, Sesc-Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Os muitos e o um: arte contemporânea brasileira”, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil
– “A Cor do Brasil”, MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– “Soft Power. Arte Brasil”, Kunsthal Kade, Amersfoort, Holland
– Dakar Biennale , Dakar, Senegal
– “Histórias da Infância”, MASP, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
– “The World is Made of Stories”, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway
– “Imagine Brazil”, DHC/Art Foundation For Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada
– “10º Bienal do Mercosul – Mensagem de Uma Nova América”, Porto Alegre, Brazil
– “1ª Bienal Internacional de Assunção – Grito de Libertad”, Asucion, Paraguai
– “O Ponto de Ebulição”, PSM-Gallery, Berlim, Germany
– “The Poetry In Between: South-South”, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
– “Here There” (Huna Hunak), QM Gallery Al Riwaq, Doha, Qatar
– “Como (…) coisas que não existem”, 31º Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil
– “Imagine Brazil” – Musée D’art Contemporain de Lyon, França
– “Chambres à Part, Edition VIII”, La Réserve Paris, paris, France
– “Entre-temps… Brusquement, et ensuite”, 12e Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France
– “To be with art is all we ask”, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway
– “Os Primeiros 10 Anos”, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Grants and Prizes
– Best Picture, Best Art Direction and Best Edition for “Bárbara Balaclava”, 8º Festival Maranhão na Tela, São Luís, Brazil
– Funarte Prize for Contemporary Arts, 2011, Brazil
– Acquisition Prize, Arte Pará 2009, Fundação Rômulo Maiorana, Belém, Brazil
– Main Prize, Arte Pará 2008, Fundação Rômulo Maiorana, Belém, Brazil
– Rubell Family Collection, Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, US
– MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
– MAR -Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
– MAM – Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
– Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, MAM, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
– ICA – Miami, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, US
– PAMM- Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, US
– Colección Diéresis, Guadalajara, Mexico
– Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil
– IAGO – Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, Fortaleza, Brazil
– Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil
Video produced by Matrioska Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2014:
- Brazilian artists participate in The Armory Show 2021
- Watch online Thiago Martins de Melo's work: "Rasga Mortalha"
- "La diosa verde reloaded": group exhibition featuring Thiago Martins de Melo
- "Twisted Dream" features Thiago Martins de Melo and Paulo Nimer Pjota
- More 2018 nominees' artists pages updated on our website
- Meet the 78 nominees of PIPA Prize 2018
- PIPA Prize 2018 Nominees | 8th Bulletin
- Second edition of "South-South" investigates the afterlife of the political revolution in the Global South
- "New Shamans" brings to Miami the major issues of Brazil
- "Bárbara Barroco" solo exhibition by Thiago Martins de Melo in Guadalajara