Arjan Martins

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 1960. – Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Represented by A Gentil Carioca galery.
PIPA prize 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017 e 2018 nominee .

PIPA prize 2018 winner.

Arjan Martin’s works addresses the matter of the African diaspora and Afro-Atlantic migrations occurred by the Brazilian colonial era. His production revolves around the incorporation of signs and codes excluded from history, and his canvases and drawings retell the history of colonization and slavery from the opressed’s point of view. Through daily activities, immigrants and African descendants are portrayed since their arrival to the new continent to present-time, as a fundamental part of his art. “In a very explicit way, Arjan’s paintings highlight the colonization and slavery oppression aches – which are still so present in our daily social conflicts – but they do this with a violent exuberance of form, that doesn’t let themselves to domesticate in illustration”, declares Luis Camillo Osorio.

Arjan held his first solo exhibition in 2002, “Drawings”, at the Museum of the Republic, Rio de Janeiro. Among his solo exhibitions, the following stand out: “Américas”, curated by Paulo Sérgio Duarte (MAM-Rio, 2014); “Et Cetera” (A Gentil Carioca, RJ, 2016) and “O Estrangeiro” (Brasilea Foundation, Basel, Switzerland, 2017). The artist participated in group exhibitions such as: “Abre Alas” (A Gentil Carioca, RJ, 2009); “From Valongo to Favela” (MAR, RJ, 2014); “Novas Acisições” (2014) and “Arte Brasileira Hoje” (2015), both at MAM-Rio. In 2005, he received the Prize for Contemporary Art Projects, by Funarte. In the following year, 2006, he participated in the “Dakar Biennial” and, in 2007, in the “Haiti Sculpture”. In 2017, Arjan was awarded a prize for artistic residency in Africa, promoted by the Goethe Institute in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. In 2018, he participated in the exhibition “Fratura” at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, curated by Paulo Myiada; he was part of the traveling exhibition “Ex-Africa”, promoted by CCBB, curated by Alfons Hug and participated in the 11th Mercosul Biennial.

Critical Texts


To learn more about Arjan Martins, please visit her full profile on the PIPA Prize website.