Artist

Nino

Nino
Set works by Nino
Set works by Nino
Set works by Nino
Set works by Nino
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Parrot
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Cow
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Biography

Nino
[João Cosmo Felix]
1920 - 2002, Juazeiro do Norte, CE

He cut sugarcane and worked as a blacksmith before turning to carving wood. He began his art by making toys. He was illiterate, lived in Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, with his wife, Perpétua Cecília da Conceição, until his death. His work is found in major public and private collections in Brazil and abroad. In 1974 he made wooden animals amazingly painted brown with specks of black and white and the size never usually exceeded 70 cm. The tails, made from umburana or alumbark, were added to the carved creatures. In the 1980s, Nino gave a leap to larger sculptures, which might go beyond one meter high. In the single block of wood, Nino now skillfully included a new color invention. Birds, elephants, oxen, monkeys, rituals, such as weddings, and epiphany festivals are carved in relief at the top of the original block, which was painted in certain colors – pink, blue, red, green, yellow -, tempered and dosed by Nino, form an extraordinary gallery of single blocks from the backlands. Here, the force of the symbolic is equal to the skill of the eye and hand, masts from the dream where nature and culture combine in a unique meeting, on a level with the best contemporary creation of the 20th century. He has held an individual exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. His work was a highlight of the international exhibition Brésil, Arts Populaires (Grand Palais, Paris, 1987), and in the Rediscovery Exhinition (São Paulo Biennial Foundation, 2000). His works are found in the top Brazilian museums of popular art.

Little Dictionary of the Brazilian People’s Art – 20th Century, by anthropologist and poet Lélia Coelho Frota

Press

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