MATHEUS MARQUES ABU Rio de Janeiro, 1997
Matheus Marques Abu (1997), self-taught artist, develops independent research on ancestry, spirituality and the African diaspora in Brazil, putting into perspective the colonial history and its reverberations in the daily lives of racialized people. He started his work with the language of pixo (graffiti), having a strong influence of the rap scene in Rio de Janeiro, collaborated with the covers for one of the important eps of rapper BK’, Antes dos Gigantes Chegarem vol. 1 e 2. He also assisted great artists such as Panmela Castro, in the exhibition “Rua!” at Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) and for Tomaz Viana, Toz in the show Cultura Insônia at Caixa Cultural. The painting appears during the pandemic and on a trip to Salvador he discovered another set of symbols, the “adinkra”. Brought to Brazil by enslaved people, these ideograms were carved mainly on gates and windows in imperial Brazil by enslaved black blacksmiths, composing a sophisticated form of communication and resistance to subalternity. To rescue this language through their works is at once to challenge dominant visibility regimes and the canon of Eurocentric history (including art history), bringing to light an alternative history invisible to the eyes of the colonial mind.