Lyz Parayzo is a transsexual woman who currently lives between Paris and São Paulo.
"The various senses of the term playing, as the act of participating in a game, provide an entry point into the work, research and political activism of multidisciplinary artist Lyz Parayzo. Since 2015, she has drawn on both her dissident body and Latin American art history to frame the art world's power dynamics and historical exclusion, which she navigates through play.
Born in a working-class community in Rio de Janeiro, Parayzo formally started her artistic practice while studying and working as an educator at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage), an experience that provided a first- hand account of the engines of the art system. When she decided to enter the art world, she adopted the nom de guerre Lyz Parayzo, derived from the Portuguese word for paradise. With this new nom de guerre, she entered the art world as if ready for war.
Inspired by a book she read on the guerrilla tactics proposed by Brazilian artists to break through the censorship imposed by the military dictatorship of the 1970s, Parayzo began her practice with confrontational actions that interfered exhibitions and mobilized the public through shock. After a period of playing against the exclusionary policies of the art world by unofficially participating in a series of exhibitions through performance, disruptive actions, and distribution of flyers and fanzines, she realized that thriving in the art system would require learning how to play along with it.
Brazilian art history not only inspired Parayzo's early works but continued to be a site of tension. She was aiming to produce at the intersection between creating a practice of referentiality and finding ways to exceed it. By situating her sculptural production in dialogue with 1960s Concrete, Neo-Concrete, and Kinetic Art, tendencies considered the pillars of international Latin American art, she has ingeniously deployed a Trojan horse strategy to hack the system. On the one hand, her maneuvering provided the proper grammar for her presence to be accepted in renowned art schools, such as the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris. On the other hand, the presence of her work and selfhood in the Brazilian art world disrupted prevailing power imbalances, offering a testing ground for its artistic myths and totems".
Text by Luise Malmaceda for Lyz Parayzo’s solo show "Playing with Lyz Parayzo", 2023 - NY - USA.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) , São Paulo, Brazil.
Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC) de Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Casa de Cultura da América Latina, Brasília, Brazil.
Arquipélogo Centro de Artes, Ribeira Grande, Portugal.