Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, 2023


Elian Almeida's (n. 1994, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) practice is characterized by a convergence of different techniques, such as painting, photography, video and installation, functioning as part of a new generation of artists whose works revindicate protagonism to agents and bodies that have been traditionally marginalized in our society and in the history of art. His body of work addresses decolonialism, exploring the experience and performativity of the black body in contemporary Brazilian society, through a process of recuperating elements from the past - imagens, narratives, characters - as a means of contributing to the process of empowerment and dissemination of afro-brazilian historiography. 


On one hand, Almeida's research engages with the biographies of black personalities whose importance has been erased through history, striving to restore the notability that they deserve. On the other hand, the artist also addresses the violent ways in which police approach racialized bodies, exploring matters of privilege within Brazilian culture and society, while also denouncing the myth of racial democracy. In his series Vogue, Almeida appropriates the visual identity and aesthetics of the famous fashion magazine, integrating them into the composition of his portraits of black individuals. With this, the artist demonstrates the ways in which his different lines of work have come to converge as a means of encouraging the public to question the ways in which these subjects have been represented and circulated within Brazilian visual culture. 


Elian Almeida lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His first solo exhibition Antes – agora – o que há de vir, took place at Nara Roesler (2021), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His works have been exhibited in numerous group shows, including: Atos de revolta, at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) (2022), in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; Crônicas cariocas, at Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) (2021), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Enciclopédia negra, at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2021), in São Paulo, Brazil; and at Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) (2022), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Amanhã há de ser outro dia / Demain sera um autre jour, at Studio Iván Argote and at Espacio Temporal (2020), in Paris, France; Esqueleto – 70 anos de UERJ, at Paço Imperial (2019), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arte naïf – Nenhum museu a menos, at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (EAV Parque Lage) (2019), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mostra memórias da resistência, at Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica (CMAHO) (2018), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Bela verão e Transnômade Opavivará, at Galpão Bela Maré (2018), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Novas poéticas – Diálogos expandidos em arte contemporânea, at Museu do Futuro (2016), in Curitiba, Brazil; amongst others. His work is part of the Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) collection, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.