Gustavo Nazareno was raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is now living and practicing in São Paulo. Self-taught, the opportunity to work as an artist appeared in 2018 during his move to São Paulo. His family practices Umbanda and his aunt brought him to her 'terreiro', the place where ceremonies are done in Brazil, and was ordered by the 'Pai de Santo' (the spiritual father), to make seven pictures of the male Orixás (deities). In a prayerful meditative state Gustavo creates the imagery of Exú (Eshu - Yoruba: also spelled, Eshu, Èṣù, and Echú). Rendered as a poetic and lyrical dance, depicting both the light and the shadow of humanity. Exú is the god of multiplicity, constantly shape shifting between man, woman, child, non binary androgyny, and animal forms. Gustavo presents Exú as a divine being wearing haute couture clothing, highlighting both the sacred and the profane elements within life's experiences. With imagery that looks like high fashion photography, but is hand drawn with the artist's finger tips applying charcoal dust to paper or oil on canvas, in a dark studio lit by only candle light, Gustavo creates a sumptuous visual narrative in black and white that leaves space for those who view the work to enter with their own form of humanity.

Gallery exhibitions