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Belo Horizonte, MG - 1966

Lives and works in Brasília, DF

Born in 1966, in Belo Horizonte, Marcela Gontijo moved to Brasília as a child, where she graduated in Fine Arts from UnB. Her work transits between painting, photography, installation and performance.

Her paintings hold dialogues with the urban environment through photographic fragments and experimental collage. In a search for images, objects, places and materials the artist develops processes that create a new geometry.


Space functions like a grid, a rhizomatic structure where lines have no beginning or end and each point can be connected to any of the others. Marcela’s lines reach beyond the limits of her painting - they occupy space outside the frames.




Marcela Gontijo's new series is inspired by one of the greatest legacies of the Chinese people, I Ching. Written around 1150-249 BC, I Ching considers that everything in nature is constantly changing. "I" has its meaning associated with "mutation", "movement", and "Ching" refers to "classic book", in other words, I Ching can be understood as "book of mutations". It is basically about how the Chinese understood and were able to explain everyday events. The work is based on the linear, mathematical and spiritual organization of I Ching, the hexagram. The combination of the lines generated by the game of numbers and chance is rearranged by the artist to create a moving color scheme, here understood as mutation, which establishes the order of the universe.


“The work of Marcela Gontijo not only has the city as a theme, but is crossed by it. Her work highlights and explores the speed, transience and diversity that are part of a great metropolis. These works were produced while she lived in Hong Kong, a cosmopolitan city that in recent decades has been taken over by skyscrapers, multinational companies, large offices and modernization of its metropolitan area. (...)
The set of collages, cutouts, adhesive tapes and paint highlights the complex fabric of a city. There is a diversity of disturbances, languages, approaches, strangeness, friction, cultures, sounds that generate clashes and differences between them, and it is exactly for this reason that the city becomes active and vibrant. (...)
In this series of works, the images that are revealed are readings and circumstances of a frantic speed of time and man's action. In front of these works, we manage to manufacture a pause, an interval, and observe and speculate attentively about the different signs that confront us. There is the constant bombardment of the media, the compulsion, the benefits of progress, but also the unbridled acceleration of cities that can lead to irreversible social and economic differences. (...)
I conclude by drawing attention to a feature that further integrates Gontijo's work to the city's behavior: it is unstable, expansive, it leads us to think of its plastic continuity beyond the limits of the frame, as it summons our imagination to realize that the work is "being done" all the time." FELIPE SCOVINO