Thiago Nevs


Oct 19 – Nov 19 2022
Usina Luis Maluf
Rua Brigadeiro Galvão, 996
Mon – Fri: 10am – 7pm
Sat: 11am – 5pm

In the 1920’s, the then Governor of São Paulo, Washington Luís, would say a phrase that a few years later would become famous: “to govern is to open roads”. In the 1950s, Juscelino Kubitschek adopted this motto as justification for the so-called Highwayism, implementing a policy of attracting foreign automobile industries tied to the idea of progress in the country.

From then on, road transport became the main way of circulating supplies and goods, transforming not only Brazil’s economy, but also creating the profession of truck driver, a tireless and indispensable worker in industrial society, who in the back of his truck travels the roads carrying all kinds of products that modern life produces and consumes.

Sobre-Carga is a reverence to the culture of the Brazilian truck driver, who over the years has developed his characteristic iconography, a kind of aesthetic-existential manifesto, in which the vernacular art of this “walking myth” definitely takes its place as a work of art.

Nevs’ interest began with the technique of decaligraphy painting. Associating lettering, ornamentation, and illustration, his works were strongly inspired by the paintings on truck bodies. What would also come to surface would be an influence closely linked to the affective and visual memory of his childhood – living with his truck driver father only until he was 6 years old.

Historically, bodywork painting, the one done with a brush, tends to lose space over time due to a series of factors such as the advancement of technology and the media. The vernacular design popularly known as “Grandpa’s truck” opens the way to the contemporary, with stencil painting, the use of adhesives, and the led panel. Even so, the trucks continue to circulate with all their decorative paraphernalia and an inexhaustible repertoire of popular sayings and diverse messages that pronounce the everyday life; they talk about faith, women, love, life in the truck… They are humorous, sarcastic, true unburdening, that created their own philosophy and language, unavoidable, representative of the importance of the culture and the human figure of the Brazilian truck driver.

With a virtuoso practice of painting techniques and wide iconographic research, Thiago Nevs reinvents the elements of classic car body painting, such as the reorganization of fillets, vignettes, and calligraphy, and goes beyond, creating sculptural works with horns, lanterns, and characteristic paraphernalia; he makes use of lashings with ropes, plates, and canvas, heraldic symbols, and bucolic landscapes; as in a journey through time, from yesterday to today, he chooses to preserve and perpetuate this cultural heritage through his works.

Cammila Ferreira, curator


Raised only by his mother on the outskirts of São Paulo, the artist entered then visual arts through urban art. His work with lettering brought him closer to popular calligraphy, bringing a Brazilian tone to his paintings.

Son of a truck driver, Nevs recalls fragments of his memories, with colorful brushstrokes and symmetrical strokes, sometimes accompanied by vernacular handwriting. The harmony of his paintings reinforces the values of popular culture and the importance of its preservation.