Artist Statement

“I was born and raised in my grandparents’ farm in the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. They grew beans, corn, manioc, tobacco and a variety of tropical fruits. The soil was fertile and green, with lakes and rivers full of fish. Alongside our farm was an immense tropical forest with native plants and animals, and full of mysteries …

When I was fourteen years old my family had to move to Salvador, the capital of Bahia. At the time it was a city with almost two million inhabitants. It was a shock to me, cultural and psychological. Brazil was experiencing the worst days of military dictatorship and I got to know racism, prejudice and repression.  I lost my innocence and started to see the world differently.

I suffered an even bigger shock when I returned to the countryside some years later. Nothing was as before. As a result of innocence and greed, everything in the region had been devastated. Trees were cut for timber and charcoal, and to plant grass to raise cattle. The frightful consequences were already visible: rivers and lakes had dried up, and fertile soil had become cursed land. I felt an enormous urge to fight for the protection of nature. Since then, I use canvas, paint and brushes to alert people to the importance of nature. I hope my paintings will have a positive effect, so one day mother earth can breathe and smile again without fear of this beast called man.”