Zéh Palito’s practice seeks to promote a relationship of mutual respect and pleasure between humans and the natural world, often drawing inspiration from Brazilian and African cultures. The artist works across quite different scales, from ambitious site-specific murals to small-scale figurative works on canvas. In parallel with his commitment to the environment, elevating, inspiring and celebrating marginalized communities and underrepresented voices is a fundamental element of his practice – an implicit suggestion that the two issues go hand in hand.
Palito’s vibrant murals present fantastical landscapes where humans, animals and plant-life coexist in dynamic harmony. Wide-open skies collide with flat geometric planes of colour, whilst big cats and tropical birds move through a world of vibrant foliage, houseplants, and oversized fruits. Palito, choosing to represent those of Black, Indigenous and Asian heritage, depicts his figures in sync with their surroundings. Through dramatic shifts in scale and a highly saturated use of color, the artist proposes a wondrous utopic vision for the future.
Whilst Palito adopts a similar visual vocabulary across his practice, the artist’s most recent works on canvas focus on individuals with a greater intimacy of perspective.