Brazil’s Primier Painters

Below, you will find information on three important painters from Brazil. 


Britto – Neo Pop Artist & Painter

Romero Britto is a Brazilian neo-pop artist, painter, serigrapher, and sculptor. He combines elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti painting in his work. He is known for hs contemporary work.

Once he settled in Florida, Britto worked on the streets in Coconut Grove, where he gained great popularity with the community. He has done portraits of Roger Federer, Dustin Hoffman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Gloria Estefan, Andre Agassi, Eileen Guggenheim, David Rockefeller, and Senator Ted Kennedy, as well as dozens of other societal, political and entertainment figures, in order to further his career.

Romero Britto, Squeaki Britto.
(Romero Britto, Squeaki Britto.)

Britto has been a fixture in the international art scene since 1989, when he was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to design a bottle label for a company advertising campaign. Following this, Britto’s whimsical cartoon style art was consistently sought-after for commissioned by major corporations for large-scale murals, sculptures and product logos around the world. He has recently been requested for commissions by companies such as Disney and Evian.

He has been named the state of Florida’s Ambassador of the Arts. In 2004, his Welcome sculpture, the world’s largest aluminum sculpture, was erected at Dadeland station in Miami.

His professional website with plenty of images of his works can be found here.

If I’m not mistaken, Britto is behind the colorful cow at the end of my recent post on Funky Chickens.


Portinari – Brazil’s Primier Painter

Candido Portinari (December 29, 1903 – February 6, 1962) was the most important Brazilian pintor (painter) and also a prominent and influential practitioner of the neo-realism style in painting.

Born of Italian immigrants in a coffee plantation near Brodowski, in São Paulo Portinari studied at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (ENBA) in Rio de Janeiro. In 1928 he won a gold medal at the ENBA and a trip to Paris where he stayed until 1930, when he returned to Brazil.

He joined the Brazilian Communist Party and stood for senator in 1947 but had to flee Brazil for Uruguay due to the persecution of Communists. He returned to Brazil in 1951 but suffered ill health during the last decade of his life and died in 1962 due to lead poisoning from his paints.

His career coincided with and included collaboration with Oscar Niemeyer amongst others. Portinari’s works can be found in galleries and settings in Brazil and abroad, ranging from the family chapel in his childhood home in Brodowski to his panels Guerra e Paz (War and Peace) in the United Nations building in New York. The range and sweep of his output is quite remarkable. It includes images of childhood, paintings depicting rural and urban labour, refugees fleeing the hardships of Brazil’s rural north-east, treatments of the key events in the history of Brazil since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500, portraits of members of his family and leading Brazilian intellectuals, illustrations for books, tiles decorating the Church of São Francisco at Pampulha, Belo Horizonte. There were a number of commemorative events in the centenary of his birth in 2003, including an exhibition of his work in London.


Ferjo – Surreal Scenes

“B. 1946 – Born Fernando de Jesus Oliveira in Bahia, Brazil in 1946, the artist who goes by the simple name of Ferjo is one of the most dynamic and intriguing artists on the contemporary American scene. His surreal, even metaphysical way with a canvas has been lauded earlier, with Ferjo winning the prestigious Crescent Scholarship at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the New York council for the Arts Award for Excellence in portraiture.” More of his Bio here.

And my favorite, which I can’t find in a larger size, Bahian Mona Lisa


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