Mar do Mermo

About Carlos Contente

Carlos Contente began his career making street art and comic strips, before expanding his practice to include fine line drawings featuring repeated shapes and characters, high art references, erotic subject matter, and pop motifs, combined with text to become short vignettes. “Being able to draw and express what I think is a powerful tool in taking advantage of legitimized spaces, because now is when I have something to say,” he has said. His work often features an alter ego in the form of a stylized self-portrait of the artist’s unsmiling face, which Contente reproduces using stencils and stamps, and juxtaposes with imagery that points to a wider social and political context. In Interview with the color green (2002), a work comprised of several drawings, Contente’s self-portrait interviews a blotch of green paint, and the two converse about philosophical matters. In his series “Compradores do mundo” (Buyers of the World) (2009), he examines the history of the contemporary art market, drawing comparisons with big business and popular culture.

Brazilian, b. 1977