The Art of Silva Maranhao

An introduction to his master project, Cries of the Nations 

Biography of the Artist

Biography of the Artist


The artist Silva Maranhão was born in 1958 in the municipality of Pindaré-Mirim in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhão. His first official exposition took place in 1980 at the age of 22 in the gallery “Casa do Artesão” in São Luis, the state capital of Maranhão. He has exhibited his work throughout Brazil and has lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro during most of the past two decades. Throughout his career, he has produced and sold his original works to collectors in Brazil and abroad. There are several substantial collections of his works in the United States.


Journalist Geraldo Soares, writing in December 1994 about the artist's early career, observed, “Silva became from an early age a researcher into nature and social-political-religious behaviors. Graduated from the Federal Technical School of Maranhão, the artist never imagined exercising conventional occupations or professions. While still very young and maintaining himself opposed to the cultural movements of the place where he lived (São Luis), he started his artistic trajectory with his first expositions. He made various trips to capital cities such as Belém, Recife, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro, where he has lived the past six years…”


“Imbued with an energetic pleasure for work, Silva is a type of daring (doubly) artist, because all of his strategies and objectives are elaborated in a special way. The great proof of this is Gritos do Brasil nas cores do verde (Cries of Brazil in colors of green), a super-project that was presented to Pronac/Ibac/CNIC – an organ of the Ministry of Culture, and automatically approved. The artist also reveals, through his work, polemical questions, as is the case with the work Armageddon, which measures 6 x 3 meters. In this painting he draws elements and figures who manipulate the power of politicians that rule humanity; in another painting, Audacity of Power, he poses a synthetic questioning of the social order and laws…


“Locked in his atelier in the center of Rio de Janeiro, Silva Maranhão is a continuous operator of the brushes. His time, which often does not make a distinction between day and night, is absorbed either by the analysis of projects or by the elaboration of new compositions.”  


During his career, Silva Maranhão has established himself as an artist who not only believes strongly in his own work, but also in the power of art as a communication device. As reported by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo in 1992, “[H]e believes that today it’s already very clear that no institution has been capable of solving human problems. Artists, he believes, should denounce this impasse in human affairs.” “The art that is made currently is, generally, empty, without messages. In my opinion, people should use their art to communicate to show what is happening in the world in a critical light,” stated Maranhão.


Selected Public Expositions of the Artist’s works:

February 15, 1980 – (First Solo Exposition) Gallery “Gardenia Gonçalves” – São Luis, Maranhão.


November 19-28, 1980 – VI Festival de Artes of the Federal Technical School of Maranhão.


December 16, 1983 – (Seventh Solo Exposition) Gallery Theodoro Braga of the Theater of Peace, Belém, Para [14 paintings in surrealistic and classical styles]


1987 – (18th Solo Exposition) Caixa Economica Federal.


September 24, 1987 – XVIII Salão de Belas Artes, Clube Naval


October 29, 1987 – XI Salão da Primavera, Brazilian Society of Fine Arts, Special Bronze Medal.


September 7-17, 1988Luanda, Angola.


June 7-20, 1990 – (25th Solo Exposition) INL Library, Brasilia, Federal Capital.


April 10, 1991 – (29th Solo Exposition) Gallery “Arte da Terra”


April 1992 – Centro Cultural de São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro [20 paintings on the natural world and the devastation of flora and fauna]


April 29, 1992 – V Salão de Natureza Morta, Brazilian Society of Fine Arts, Honorable Mention.


May 19 – June 18, 1992, Museum of Justice, Rio de Janeiro.


September 3, 1992 – XXIII Salão de Belas Artes, Clube Naval, Silver Medal.


November 20 – December 3, 1995, I Salão Nacional Zumbi dos Palmares, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.


May 13 – June 7, 1996 – III Show Afro-Brazilian, Public Library of Rio de Janeiro.


October 22, 1998 - X Salão de Artes Plasticas da Base Aérea do Galeão, Rio de Janeiro.


May 28, 1999 - V Salão de Artes, Policia Militar do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.


September 10-13, 2002 – Offices of Jornal Posto Seis, Rio de Janeiro [8 paintings from the project “Cries of the Nations”]


May 19 – September 24, 2004 – Exposição UniversidArte, Universidade Estacio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro.


January 2005 to Present  - Permanent Exposition, Rua Santa Luzia, 760 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro.

February 28 - March 3, 2008 - New York City Artexpo, Booth 1338, Javits Convention Center.

April 2008 - May 2009, Permanent Exposition, Atlantis Gallery, 11411 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Virginia.

September 30 - October 11, 2008 - Solo Exhibition "Brazil and Beyond," 532 Gallery, 532 West 25th Street, New York, NY.

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