Maxwell Alexandre’s “Pardo é Papel”
              Oliver Basciano
              In early 2020 I attended a protest outside the police headquarters in downtown São Paulo. The small crowd had come to hear from the relatives of nine young people, all Black, who had been killed in a stampede when police fired rubber bullets indiscriminately across a packed baile, a dance party, in the south of the city. The authorities claim that these nights are a hotbed of gang activity and are rife with drugs. One young woman who spoke to the crowd, her voice flat, described how her 16-year-old brother, Dennys, worked six days a week to support the family and went to the party on his one day off. He never came home. This May, 27 residents of Jacarezinho, in Rio de Janeiro, died during a drug raid. Earlier this month, a young woman called Kathlen Romeu, who was pregnant, was fatally caught in the crossfire of a police shootout in the north of the city. Both police violence and parties are subjects of the thirteen paintings by Maxwell Alexandre at Instituto Tomie Ohtake. In one work from “Pardo é Papel”—the series that dominates the exhibition and in which the artist depicts his scenes of favela life using acrylic, …
              São Paulo Round Up
              Sophie Goltz
              The past 10 years have seen an expansion in the recognition of Latin American artists worldwide, as well as a multiplication of the numbers of galleries and art-related events in Brazil, especially in São Paulo. Being so, a survey of the city’s growing number of contemporary art institutions such as galleries, museums, studios, and off-spaces can only be partly representative of the city’s vast landscape of art and culture. But a survey can nonetheless offer another view on the cultural life of Sao Paulo beyond the world’s second oldest biennial (after Venice, and founded in 1951), which has just opened it’s door to the public. While the Bienal is looking for the very contemporary in art today and doesn’t necessarily meet local expectations for its representation of Brazilian art, the city’s current gallery exhibitions present a consolidation of a Brazilian identity through art and its spaces. At CAIXA Cultural, in the rather dilapidated downtown of São Paulo, French artist Marie Voignier’s film Hinterland (2009) examines Tropical Island, the man-made bathing resort in Krausnick, a bleak and economically depressed region 60 km south of Berlin. Set in a heated dome that looks like a real-life Truman Show, the film deals with the …

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