Zéh Palito is a storyteller and cultural observer who provides insight into contemporary African diasporic life. Adorned with gold and other jewels, shells, exotic fruits, and flowers, the figures in his paintings become the centre of attention and the protagonists of their own stories. Each figure is positioned in a stance of power that illustrates a positive self-identity and pays homage to a rich cultural heritage. Combined with the use of bright colors, each figure demonstrates confidence, satisfaction, and self-assurance through their mere existence.
Despite being quite colorful paintings that evoke joy, they put forth pertinent political aspects and also speak of trauma, and of sorrow among minority groups. Which can lead us to having these conversations about it
Zéh Palito’s practice seeks to promote a relationship of mutual respect and pleasure between humans and the natural world, often drawing inspiration from Brazilian, African and American cultures. The artist works across very different scales, from ambitious site-specific murals to small-scale figurative works on canvas. In parallel with his commitment to the environment, elevating, inspiring and celebrating marginalized communities and underrepresented voices is a fundamental element of his practice – an implicit suggestion that the two issues go hand in hand.
Tropical fruits, animals, cars, swimming pools, move through a world of vibrant foliage, flowers and houseplants. Zéh Palito, choosing to represent minority groups, focuses on individuals with a greater intimacy of perspective. He depicts his figures in sync with their surroundings. Through dramatic shifts in scale and a highly saturated use of colors, the artist proposes a wonderous utopic visions for the future.
Zéh Palito has made art murals over 30 countries between Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Middle East . He has been subject of numerous group exhibitions, including “When We See Us” at Museum Zeitz MOCAA in South Africa, “Quilombo: vida, problemas e aspirações do negro” at Museum Inhotim in Brazil, “Regarde-Moi” at Perrotin, Paris and “Winner Takes All”- at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. Among his solo exhibitions some highlights are, “Eu sei porque o pássaro canta na gaiola” -Galeria Simões de Assis, Brazil, -“Untouchable Negritude”- Luce Gallery, Italy and “Tropical Diaspora” at Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Baltimore, USA.
Artist website: https://www.zehpalito.com/