For years, Finok carried the torch of São Paulo graffiti and street art from the generation of pivotal figures before him. His fine art feels continually fresh, with a mixture of sculpture and paintings and installation elements that channel a sense of street culture with a white cube aesthetic. The simple characters and lettering have now morphed into what I think of as the future of São Paulo, intricate and bold. His new solo show, Subversão, which is now on view at Luis Maluf Galeria de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil, is a culmination of works he created during the pandemic, for which we spoke with him in our Art In Uncertain Times series.
“Within this chaotic situation, I focused entirely on my studio work, absorbing everything and all the news of what was happening around me and trying to return it in some way to my work,” Finok told us in 2020. “Some research that I was already developing that directly involves stories of lives and people, have intensified, and this situation, however bad it may be, is a push for us all to understand much more strongly that everything is going wrong. We have to talk more firmly about what happens here and in the world and cannot ignore it. Inside or outside, it is part of this reality of the current times in which we live.”
The result is a show that combines a dialogue of Brazilian identity and the streets by which Finok learned his craft. There is something that almost feels like a exploration of anonymity in the backdopr of a metropolis, with the characters looking the same but the colors and shapes standing in the forefront. It’s a powerful vantage point, and one that Finok seems to be at his height when examining it. —Evan Pricco