João da Motta was born in 1995 in Saquarema, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and turned to art at a young age, initially fascinated by comics, cartoons and digital illustration. Using the artistic name Mulambö, he continues with a work that started to be shown in 2019, which is enchanting for its simplicity and originality. Mulambö aims, as he himself likes to say, “to valorize the symbols of suburban existence in Rio de Janeiro.” Using paintings as well as objects and choosing the internet as a platform for his work, the artist declares: “I make art to affirm that there is no museum in the world like our grandmother’s house.”
C&AL: Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from and what is your background as an artist?
Mulambö: My name is João, and I grew up as Mulambö in Praia da Vila, Saquarema, in the Lakes Region of Rio de Janeiro. Before being an artist, I am a grandson, a son, a brother, a godfather, a Flamengo fan and a member of the Acadêmicos do Sossego Samba School. And that is exactly why I ended up being an artist as well, without meaning to. My background comes from various fronts: from comic books to some courses I had the opportunity to take, like the grant I received from Galpão Bela Maré, but I would say that my actual school was Carnaval. Not necessarily the samba schools, but the idea of carnivalization as a whole and how that influences how we tell stories.