Gustavo Balbela (Porto Alegre, 1997) is a Brazilian artist and designer who uses photography as a support to discuss issues related to his culture and society.

In previous projects, such as The Last Sigh of Materiality [2018] and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Revisited) [2019] he often explores dichotomies and tensions between the material world and our way of interacting with it, representing it and imagining it.

Gustavo has participated in collective or individual exhibitions in Brazil, Uruguay and Hungary, and his work can be found in private collections in Brazil and Europe.

In Letters to Ultramarine I attempt to create an anthology of the discomforts that emanate from the urban space that surrounds me, collecting fragments from this upper middle class Latin American landscape stressed by the echoes of colonialism and by the outcomes of globalised capitalism.

As outdated and exogenous models of progress quietly, but violently, shape the environment, I run out of landmarks and solid ground to set my feet on. From buildings to trees, everything looks like a function of a culture whose main purpose is consumption, but that nevertheless produces nothingness. Anthropocene’s heterogeneous foam expands, suffocating everything, and smashing me in-between the beauty of the sight and the rage of reality.

This space becomes a collage of structures that come from afar, often from the global north, and that help to shape our dreams and ideals. They overlap, layer over layer, with minor consideration about the origin, message or context, creating an environment that is hyper codified, and yet, deprived from a deeper meaning. But, carefully observing these pieces of absence that surround me, I seek to modulate the unavoidable tension sparked by growing up in this environment where meaningful bonds and experiences are built amid (and, sometimes, drawing from) intense cultural interference.