Paulo Nimer Pjota started making street art when he was twelve years old. Later on, he started using painting to record his impressions of the world, of cities, and of art history. His works comprise superimposed layers of different materials. Graphisms and stains share the canvas with detailed figurative elements, which seek to represent realities of the visual arts and society. Among his influences, the artist cites Renaissance anatomy, the work of the German feminist Kiki Smith (1954–), the large-format paintings of the American Cy Twombly (1928–2011), and the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988), who gained fame as a graffiti artist before becoming a key artist of the 1980s.
Through drawing, painting, and installation, PJ creates images that superimpose the graphic and pictorial production of major urban centers to his own personal and artistic references. His lengthy production process is an integral part of his work. The artist is interested in accumulating layers of materials and references—which may not bear any apparent formal or thematic relation to each other. Using paint, pencil, pen, spray, masking tape, and other materials, PJ creates works designed to challenge the viewer’s gaze and perception, be it through the accumulation of references or through traces of the production process that remain in the final work.
His work is also immediately reminiscent of street art; however, it also uses less-regarded forms of urban expression, such as drawings, scribbles, and sayings on public bathroom walls, elevators, and prison walls. To PJ, these are political expressions that affirm freedom of speech. Paulo Nimer Pjota worked on the gigantic facade of La Sucrière, the main Biennial venue. At once metaphorical, atmospheric and evocative, his works offer a rich visual repertoire – plants, crystals, skulls, flowers, mechanical objects, words and phrases, all floating free in different scales and dimensions – most of which comes directly from the streets of São Paulo.
Paulo Nimer Pjota was born in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil. He lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Recent group exhibitions include SESC_Videobrasil, SESC Belenzinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2011); Paperview, John Jones Limited_Project Space, London, UK (2009); Ilegitimo, Paço das artes, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2008). Solo exhibitions include Considerações sobre o branco, Galeria Choque Cultural, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010); Walking in the White, Anno Domini Gallery, San José, USA (2009). His work is in the permanent collections of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway; Centro Cultural São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lodoveans Collection, London, UK; Sesc_Videobrasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Author Ingrid Melano