Dante Saldanha

São Luís – MA, 2003

Dante Saldanha is an illustrator and art student at the Federal Institute of Maranhão.  He works with traditional drawing, mainly illustrations using black ink and watercolor. “My lines are a combination of traditional techniques, such as woodblock printing, and contemporary references, such as tattoo and graffiti”, he notes.

His experiences as a trans, Northeasterner youth are a major inspiration for his artistic creations, where he combines traditional references, such as Art History studies and cultural manifestations from Maranhão, with contemporary elements of pop and counter-culture, as well as his political struggles.

“I seek to explore different facets of the concept of gender, especially that of masculinity, in an investigation into what it means to understand (or not) oneself as a man, and how this identity influences one’s role in society”, reflects Dante Saldanha.


“Vaqueiro” [“Cowboy”] (2019). Ink drawing on paper. Dimensions: 35 x 27cm.

“Why” [original title in English] (2021). Drawing with markers on paper. Dimensions: 23cm x16 cm.

“Mapplethorpe” [original title in English] (2019). Acrylic painting on canvas. Dimensions: 80cm x 55 cm.