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Tiros, MG - 1948

Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Xico Chaves creates his pictorial work through thematic and conceptual series. Stemming from many expeditions to the Iron Belt, in Minas Gerais and other regions in Brazil, all his work in painting, even the oldest ones such as Luzz series (1970), to the more recent ones, and also the Tramas XL series (2018), is made with minerals, natural pigments and acrylic resin, this being his main reference in contemporary visual arts. The conception of poetic and spatial objects is present in his research from the very beginning, so the different pictorial series are interspersed. His subject matters encompass three great pillars: life, art and politics.


His interest in constant experimentation of discourses and medias for artistic expression made Xico internationally renowned as a multiple artist, having had in his path popular and experimental music in addition to paintings and objects, performances, process-poems, video art, photographs and records in the fields of poetry, popular and experimental music.




Paintings with minerals and acrylic resin on canvas made in the mining regions of the iron quadrangle in the state of Minas Gerais and completed in the atelier. These works dialogue with the geography of their surroundings and the constructive material of their ancestral origin.  The constructions,  energized with raw minerals, interact with nature,  its surrounding elements in interactive movement with water, sunlight, vegetation, wind and body performance. The painting brings together gestures, observation, reflection and timelessness by incorporating the trajectory of the artist's creative process, his imagination,  the material reality and its diverse origins. The ground, its accidents and its diverse composition, under the effects of water, earth, and solar radiation determine the time of creation in the metamorphosis of the image  and its semantic composition. 


From space to gravity, Nova Matéria searches for the solid in its infinite planetary formations, agglomerations, geological compositions, geographies, chromatisms, friability, malleability and poetic sense, on various supports. Travels and researches in Minas, mining companies and landscapes result in aerophotogrammetric representations of reliefs, melts, erosions, imaginary physical transmutations somewhere in the universe, as if the planet or celestial body were always seen from above, now consolidated, now in the process of formation.


Xico Chaves' poetry came over the years, gradually, joining all activities of life, bureaucratic work, politics, leisure, friendship, affections, so that today we can no longer distinguish in his activities what is or is not art [poetry]; your every gesture is an artistic action. Perhaps that was the challenge he set himself, to make life a great form of artistic operation.


In the passage between all the series of paintings, they often appear as if it were the fulfillment of the creative process, sometimes as experiences transmuted into works, sometimes as propositions of various objects, called by the artist as Intercalary Objects (in series or isolated). These objects establish references with the poetic, visual and literary production simultaneously with the creation process as a whole.