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Overview

In Maxwell’s case the desire to become a hero comes from this will to overcome the average, to have a superhuman agency over his existence, and to somehow get closer to myths, gods, enlightened, powerful and notorious beings. In a constant development of his narrative, Maxwell has always been an avid archivist of himself, constantly creating and preserving records of his own accomplishments through videos, texts, pictures, articles. Altering and perfecting his image, being the architect of his own archeology, in an insurgency against social conditioning and powers that interfere with reality: churches, religions, corporations, the military, media, society, politics.

– Raoni Azevedo, Good News 4:01 about “The Baptism of Maxwell Alexandre”, 2018

Brazilian artist, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His urban poetics consists in a construction of narratives and scenes based on his daily experiences in the city and in Rocinha, a favela that stands out for being the largest and most populous in the country, with about 70 thousand inhabitants, located in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro city. Maxwell Alexandre explores everyday images that go beyond a mere interpretation of reality.

Selected Works
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Cerimônia de Batismo Coletivo, 2019
    Cerimônia de Batismo Coletivo, 2019
  • Maxwell Alexandre, sem título [untitled], 2019
    sem título [untitled], 2019
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Até Deus inveja o homem preto, 2018
    Até Deus inveja o homem preto, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Merenda, 2018
    Merenda, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, sem título [untitled], 2018
    sem título [untitled], 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, A vitória gloriosa, 2018
    A vitória gloriosa, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Trem, 2018
    Trem, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Sangue do Cordeiro, 2018
    Sangue do Cordeiro, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Amiga do peito, inimiga da perna, 2018
    Amiga do peito, inimiga da perna, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Não foi pedindo licença que chegamos até aqui, 2018
    Não foi pedindo licença que chegamos até aqui, 2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, Meus manos, minhas minas, meus irmãos, minhas irmãs e meus cães, 2017-2018
    Meus manos, minhas minas, meus irmãos, minhas irmãs e meus cães, 2017-2018
  • Maxwell Alexandre, A lua quer ser preta, se pinta no eclipse, 2017-2018
    A lua quer ser preta, se pinta no eclipse, 2017-2018
Selected Exhibitions

Pardo é Papel | MAC Lyon - Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon | Lyon, França, 2019

In the gallery
Press
Video
Publications
Biography

Brazilian artist, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His urban poetics consists in a construction of narratives and scenes based on his daily experiences in the city and in Rocinha, a favela that stands out for being the largest and most populous in the country, with about 70 thousand inhabitants, located in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro city. Maxwell Alexandre explores everyday images that go beyond a mere interpretation of reality. Not only on canvas, but on paper, on pool canvases, wooden doors and aluminum frames, materials that he reuses as a foundation for his aesthetic construction, the artist paints scenes and daily actions from the favela, black bodies in moments of confrontation and situations of empowerment. In the transposition to the pictorial field, his works include community conflicts with the police, the decimation and incarceration of the black population, the bankruptcy of the public education system and other circumstances of his life and his birthplace, Rocinha. Among the city's monuments, architecture and landscapes, the circumstances of Maxwell's work are resignified through symbols of power such as superheroes, video games, military badges, city logos, flags and global brands of childish desires, such as Danone and Toddynho. Powerful images that transform itself with the artist's creative ability to communicate with the audience in an urgent, serious but at the same time in a tricky way, like the series “Pardo é Papel”, consisting of works in monumental format. In this series - which is configured as a set of paintings expanded to the political field -, where Maxwell addresses the African ancestry and the empowerment of contemporary brazilian society from the favelas, the colors and elements present in the drawings intensify the contrast between the black bodies in positions of power and the paper, which gives name to a color that was used to hide blackness. “Pardo”, was the term found on birth certificates, in resumes and identity cards of black people of the past, however, nowadays, with the growth of the debates, the awareness of racism, the demands and the changes in the political glossary of the last 10 years, blacks started to project their voices, to understand and be proud of what they are, understanding that the term was used in favor of a whitening of the race. In addition to his art studies and his time as a professional skater, between the ages of 14 and 26, Maxwell joined a group of artists and designers and they created their own non-denominational church, “The Church of the Kingdom of Art” or “The bride”. That has as it´s faith and path the artistic process to access the “divine”. Any artist's production within this religion can be understood as prayer, just as any space where the artist’s doing opera, can be understood as a temple: ateliers, houses and streets. Artists are apostles, prophets, saints and ministers. To exercise this faith in art, they hold services, rituals and ceremonies ranging from Baptisms, Pilgrimages, Offerings, Holy Suppers and “Pecadão” - the famous big sin festivals.

 

Graduated in Design at PUC-RJ in 2016. In 2006 and 2009, he participated in the Photography Course to register the renovation works for the PAC (Growth Acceleration Program) in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. In 2020 he took part in the artistic residency in Morocco with an invitation of Macaal - Museum of African Contemporary Art, in Marrakech, which resulted in a large installation in the institution, for the group exhibition “Have You Seen A Horizon Lately?”. In the second semester, he is scheduled to hold his next residency at SAM Art Projects, which will result in his solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris. Later this year, he will hold his solo show at David Zwirner London Gallery, in England. In 2019, he toured with his solo show “Pardo é Papel”, held at MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, and also at MAC Lyon - Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, in France, his first international solo exhibition. In the same year, he was announced as the winner of the São Sebastião de Cultura 2018 award from the Associação Cultural da Arquidiocese do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2018, he participated in an artistic residency at the Delfina Foundation in London, as well as in the collective exhibitions ‘Recortes da Arte Brasileira’ at Berlin Art Fair, ‘Crônicas Urgentes’ at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel gallery, São Paulo, and ‘Histórias Afro-Atlânticas’ at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Still in 2018, he presented the solo show ‘O Batismo de Maxwell Alexandre’ and participated in the collective exhibition ‘Abre Alas 14’, both in the A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro. In 2017 he took part of the the collective show ‘Carpintaria para todos’ at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, and held the solo ‘Laje só existe com gente’ at Rocinha Surfe Escola (Rocinha Surf School), in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, show when he exhibited for the first time the series “Pardo é Papel (Brown is Paper)”.

 

His works integrate important collections such as Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Museu de Arte de São Paulo; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France e Perez Art Museum Miami, United States.

 

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