Vanessa Da Silva at Pivo

PDF – Vanessa Da Silva at Pivo 
Jan - April 2019 

Over the past three months, Brazilian artist Vanessa da Silva has been an artist-in-residence at Pivô Art and Research, located in Edificio Copan, one of São Paulo’s most notorious buildings. Having lived in London since 2001, this residency and return to Brazil have been a highly significant moment for the artist. She ‘reconnected’ with her hometown and experienced working in São Paulo as a professional artist for the first time.

Part of her new body of work, the series Sunscreen is the result of deep research on the history of São Paulo and on Pixação, one of the city’s most underground style of graffiti, runic-inspired typography. Pixadores are those tagging the city with their pixo and marking the walls of buildings and skyscrapers with their brand. Da Silva sees this practice as a metaphor for the city of São Paulo. Being the heart of the Brazilian economy, São Paulo is the biggest and richest city of South America, where diverse communities coexist and where the extreme contrast between the rich and poor is very visible.

Taking these ideas and research as a point of departure, da Silva creates works representing these dichotomies. Her use of red and blue are a reference to São Paulo’s stock exchange, as well as the portraits inspired by those printed on Brazilian bank notes. Abstract forms and shapes take inspiration from the images of pixos that the artist has collected. Notions of power, money, and survival are at the core of the work.

Wishing to expand the research started at Pivô artist residency, Vanessa da Silva aims to take specific local ideas and notions of belonging to a city or community into a realm that is more universal and that speaks to a wider audience.

Text by Luiza Vanelli-Schmidt Edited by Giulia Franceschini

Open Studio Series: Pablo Rodriguez Blanco

Saturday January the 19th  2019
Royal College of Art - Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2EU

© 2019