Emanuel de Carvalho
The works are charged with an invisible sense of otherness, triggering the viewer’s perceptive responses to queer imagery. Objects and bodies are depicted as a believable extension of our world, purposefully unabsorbed in themselves and placed with the aim to gaze back at the viewer while being beheld.
Emanuel de Carvalho (Portuguese-Canadian) is a London-based visual artist, currently enrolled at the Turps Banana Studio Painting Programme. De Carvalho’s practice explores issues pertaining to fluidity of gender and identity. Bodies are depicted in performative stances, often the artist’s own, intertwined with inanimate structures and objects. The settings, often transitional urban or domestic spaces, reference current social changes being witnessed by society - a state of transition onto non-categorisation of individuals. The works are charged with an invisible sense of otherness, triggering the viewer’s perceptive responses to queer imagery. Objects and bodies are depicted as a believable extension of our world, purposefully unabsorbed in themselves and placed with the aim to gaze back at the viewer while being beheld. The absence of sexual imagery is an attempt at redressing the scarce representation of queer bodies in art historical canons whilst destabilising the hyper-sexualisation of queer identities and histories in contemporary art practices. The construction of compositions incorporates two basic elements that form the core of human perceptive response, flesh and chiasm, as described by the phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty. Bodies and objects (flesh) intersect (chiasm) and prompt individual responses to the images that are a direct reflection of our pre-conceived perceptions towards social and gender-identity categorisation. In this way, the paintings reference principles devised in Diderot’s Salons, which state that the painter’s task is to arrest, attract and enthral the beholder. De Carvalho questions that if perception is an acquired construct, moulded by experience and learning, it can also be subjected to self-reflection and potentially to change.
2020 - present Turps Art School
2018 - 2019 Painting Modules 1 and 2, Slade School of Fine Arts, London, UK
2013 - 2019 PhD University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2022 Solo Show with Guts Gallery, London, UK
2021 De nos jours, Osnova Gallery, Moscow, Russia (Off-site programme London, UK)
2021 AORA:III, AORA Space, London, UK
2021 Medium Rare, Bermondsey Project Space, London, UK
2016 Baahm (!), Tableau Paper, Oslo, Norway
2014 Atheist Iva, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013 Dysthymia, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013 Upper Middle Under Land, Nuit Blanche, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013 Growing Between Spaces, Pup Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands