Brazilian painters of today carry the torch of a long history of wonderful artists coming from and emigrating to the beautiful country of Brazil.
Before it was a country, or even a colony, the natives in Brazil had mastered their cultural arts and crafts. When the European colonists began to arrive, they brought with them many new artistic techniques and methods.
Throughout the 18th century and into the 19th century, a great deal of art in Brazil was commissioned by the Catholic Church. Some of the earliest and most awe-inspiring artwork in Brazil can be found in its churches.
Men of great renown made their name in this manner, among them are artists like Manuel da Costa Ataíde and sculptors like Aleijadinho. Immortalized by their work, they are icons of an important era in the evolution of art in Brazil.
In the early 20th century, artists in Brazil sought new creative approaches and boldly challenged the taboos of the past. Their work was exhibited at the Modern Art Week festival at Sao Paulo in February of 1922, causing quite a stir.
The many Brazilian painters, writers and other artists involved in Modern Art Week came to be known as The Generation of 1922, the generation that saw the beginning of Brazilian Modernism.
Artists like Emiliano Di Cavalcanti and Anita Malfatti were ahead of their time, which made their work controversial. This only inspired them to work together with other artists in organizing a festival that would revolutionize art in Brazil.
During this era, there was bold artistic experimentation and exhibition. Some Brazilian artists like Di Cavalcanti endeavored to overcome European influences, often by learning in Europe and returning home to focus on what made the art of Brazil unique.
Around the same time, there was a small group of artists meeting in humble artisan workshops in Sao Paulo who came to call themselves Grupo Santa Helena. Their gatherings were often hosted by the famous Brazilian landscape painter, Francisco Rebolo. Mario Zanini and Alfredo Volpi, two colorful masters of modern Brazilian art, were involved as well.
These creative and innovative Brazilian painters made way for modern artists in Brazil and around the world.
Naza - Piauí-born Brazilian artist now living in the United States. She calls her work "Abstracted Realism" and enjoys painting endangered species, as well as celebrities and world leaders. Her work is available on her website, where you can choose to purchase a painting, canvas print, or paper poster, depending on your budget.
Fábio Innecco - Painter and landscaper from Niterói. His work has been displayed in numerous exhibits around the world from the 1960's to the present time and his paintings are sought after by some famous Brazilians for their personal collections.
Nicson - Successful self-taught Brazilian artist who specializes in creating expressionist oil-on-canvas paintings using a palette knife. His work depicts a variety of Brazilian and European scenes. They can sometimes be acquired at auctions or exhibitions.
Israel da Costa - Talented painter with humble roots on a farm in Bahia. His paintings are mostly oil-on-canvas and he does sculptures as well. A vegetarian, explorer, lover of life and of nature. He seems to manage his own work independently and promote himself online, you can find him on Facebook and Youtube.
Constancia Nery - Born in Ipigua and currently living in Curitiba, she is a prize-winning Naïve Art painter. Her work appears simple, yet superbly skillful, capturing innocent and joyous Brazilian scenes and landscapes.
William Malucu - Abstract expressionist painter of Fortaleza. He uses acrylics on canvas, with vibrant colors and wondrous textures. Working with galleries in Brazil, he gained notoriety and expanded his influence to several different countries in Europe where he has attracted many admirers. There are videos on Youtube of Malucu's artistic process.
Eduardo Argüelles - Brazilian-born, self-taught painter who has also earned his living as a cardiologist and university professor. Although he didn't begin painting until age 48, his paintings of human figures, especially women, display phenomenal skill. He has participated in more than seventy artistic exhibitions.
Orly Silva - Talented plastic artist and resident of Rio de Janeiro. She paints beautiful landscapes and still-life, using academic, expressionist, and abstract styles with equal skill. Her paintings are often inspired by Brazil's spectacular tourist attractions.
Solange Magalhães - A would-be theoretical physicist turned painter. She was born in France, but moved to Rio de Janeiro in her youth. Experiments with different materials and techniques have helped her develop her unique auto-didactic skills over decades, it's been said that she has no commitment to any particular school.
J. Araujo – An incredibly successful painter of Naïve Art, he was born in Salvador, Bahia. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and many of his paintings are displayed in museums in Europe and South America. Reproductions of his paintings can be printed on notebooks, coffee mugs, mousepads, dining sets and other items. He also makes the most amazing sandals you may ever see.
Brazilian painters continue to innovate and adapt to the ever-evolving market. Graffiti art, for example, is not to be exclusively identified with crime and street gangs any longer. Successful and respectable Brazilian graffiti artists and identical twin brothers, Os Gêmeos, have exhibited their work internationally.
Brazilian graffiti artist, Alexandre Orion, combines his graffiti art with human subjects to create phenomenal photographs. It's exactly this spirit of experimentation which Brazilian painters channeled into revolutionary work almost a century ago.
There are so many other notable Brazilian painters and rising stars, it's impossible to list every one of them. The beautiful country of Brazil has a way of bringing out the artist in us all!