Brazilian, born 1983

Attuned to the history of his native Brazil and critically aware of himself as a product of the mixture of peoples engendered by Portuguese colonization, Francisco Silva, a.k.a. Nunca, has been creating exuberant street art since he was 12. Nunca’s huge figures and expansive scenes look like woodcuts and lithographs, a reference to the mediums historically used by the Portuguese to portray indigenous Indians. References to Amazonian cannibals recur in his work, mixed with images inspired by São Paulo and popular culture. “The main concern of my work is to provoke questioning about how the traditional culture is mixed, is maintained, or [is] lost in globalization.” Critically acclaimed worldwide, Nunca was invited to paint a mural on the façade of the Tate Modern in 2008.

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