Gustavo Nazareno Brazil, b. 1994


Gustavo Nazareno is a self-taught visual artist focusing his practice on charcoal and oil on canvas. Nazareno's poetic narrative is strongly inspired by religions and mythology of the African diaspora - Canbomblé and Umbanda in particular- from which he borrows Yoruba orishas and other deities that become protagonists in his artistic investigation of the human figure. Nazareno’s imaginary Gods are hybrid figures traversing age and gender by resisting any fixed designation. Their majestic dresses and ostentatious make-up add a sense of contemporaneity to the Caravaggesque chiaroscuro that dominates every painting. This dramatic use of lighting is achieved by the development over the years of a unique painting and drawing technique where the artist applies charcoal dust with his fingertips on paper, in a dark studio lit by only candlelight. The multitude of anatomical poses of Nazareno’s characters is contrasted with their recurrent piercing gaze looking out and engaging with the viewer as an act of sensual and provocative defiance.


Collective Reflections: Contemporary African & Diasporic Expressions of A New Vanguard, Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana, his first exhibition with the gallery took place in 2020. The artist’s solo presentations include, Notas pessoais de fé (Personal Notes on Faith), Cassina Projects Gallery, Curated by Deri Andrade. Milan, Italy (2022). Fables on Exu, Gallery 1957, London, UK (2021). Group exhibitions include Quilombo: Life, problems and aspirations of the Black people, Galeria Lago, Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil (2022); Between Nothingness and Infinity, Cornell Biennial at Johnson Museum, New York, USA (2022); The Storytellers, Gallery 1957, London, UK (2022); Outros Ensaios para o Tempo, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil (2021); Eye of the Collector, with artist Yaw Owusu, Two Temple Place, London, UK (2021) and Group Show with artists Patrick Eugene, Peter Ojingiri, Oliver Okolo, BERG Contemporary, Reykjavik, Iceland (2021).


Nazareno has completed a number of residencies, such as the Legacy Brothers residency (2020) and has featured in a number of art fairs such as Artgenève, Geneva, Switzerland (2023); Cornell Biennial, New York, NY, USA (2022); Art Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2022) and SP-ARTE, with Portas Vilaseca Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil (2022 and 2021).

Art Fairs