Richelli is a Brazilian-Canadian artist who lives and works in Montréal. He earned a Bachelor’s in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). In 2017, he was a finalist for the Albert-Dumouchel award for emerging printmakers, given out by Arprim. He has been part of exhibitions in Montréal, including at the Galerie de l’UQAM, Galerie Lilian Rodriguez (2017), and Paramètres XVII at Place des Arts (2018), for which he earned the Omer-DeSerres award for excellence. He is currently preparing for two research and creation residencies, which will take place this fall, at the Atelier de l’île in Val-David, and at Engramme in Québec City.
“Drawing on my childhood as a starting point, my reflections and work are imbued with all of the content that arises, such as cartoons and toys. Such products designed for children represent a playful portrait of our world. But in addition to entertaining, they take on significant educational functions. Hidden beneath the captivating, joyful and naive aspects of this content, we sometimes find problematic contemporary elements pertaining to representation, beauty ideals and stereotypes. With the same childish aesthetic, I situate these elements and focus on them in my work.
My practice has developed through an exploration of various media – especially drawing, photography, printmaking and sculpture. In order to feed my curiosity and desire to learn, I choose the techniques that are most appropriate for conveying my artistic research. Children’s iconography, which at first was limited to the content of my creations, has become my artistic language. The diversions, hybridizations and unlikely combinations that I portray enable me to return to and reinterpret my childhood.
Having grown up in a religious family and macho environment, I often question the male role. Societal conventions that dictate how men and boys should be (courageous, strong, powerful, etc.) contribute to forming a distorted sense of masculine identity. Elements belonging to adult life, like sexuality, masculinity and homosexuality, are furtively slipped into my work, and represent subjects that are almost never addressed in the context of children’s products (unless in an ambiguous manner).
Through my work, my intention is to open an accessible dialogue on LGBTQ diversity, the representation of different cultures, and on equality amongst genders. For me, it’s a way to prompt currently relevant reflections, via a colourful, joyous and inviting aesthetic.”