Oscar Araripe / Brazilian artist and poet.
With residence, studio, gallery and Cultural in Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Oscar Araripe was born in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, in July 1941. His mother from Ceara (in northern Brazil) and his gaúcho father from the extreme south soon moved to the proletarian neighborhood of Encantado (“Enchanted”), where his father, a doctor, and his mother, a teacher both carried on their professions.
“The most beautiful paintings I saw were from comics. Many of my brushstrokes I learned while flying kites” - he would say.
Later his parents move to Ipanema and Oscar Araripe jumps into the sea off the rocks at Arpoador, hangs out at Devil’s Beach and drinking beer at Jangadeiros. This is Ipanema before the Girl; during the 60’s when politics is everything, capable of saving life itself. The author joins the National Faculty of Law. Then comes the ’ 64 military coup.
He participates in the CACO-Livre student leadership. Has his studentl rights withdrawn. Travels to the United States on a scholarship from the Interamerican University Foundation in ‘66 and ‘68. Attends seminars at Harvard, the campus up in arms. America itself is in turmoil: the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggle. Araripe becomes interested in theater. Writes an essay on contemporary American theater, focusing on Tennessee Williams. Wins a trip to France. Returns to Brazil. Translates Peter Brooks’ The Empty Space for Vozes Publishing. Adapts and stages, in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, with Maria Fernanda and Othon Bastos, Cecília Meireles’ Romanceiro da Inconfidência (the classic epic poem of Brazilian independence). Writes The Transylvanian Envoy, a satire in three acts. Is punished by the Federal Censor Board, an episode which leads to the first and only theater strike. With a growing interest in the personal as a concept, he becomes a militant in the AP (Popular Action Movement), writing the essay A Brief Introductory Study of Personalism, which earns him a scholarship in journalism to the Pro Deo University, in Rome.
There he writes for various Brazilian publications. Travels throughout Europe. Organizes, with others, a march against the Brazilian military dictatorship in Rome. Returns to Brazil, in 1969. Becomes a theater critic, cultural editorialist, columnist, writer and reporter for Correio da Manhã, Última Hora and Jornal do Brasil. Edits, with Augusto Rodrigues, the journal Art and Education. Founding member of the International Society of Education through Art (INSEA). As a journalist, invited to travel to Poland, Germany and China. Publishes China: The Possible Pragmatism for Artenova Publishing, with great success.
1975 - Is cited in the bibliography of the New Aurélio Dictionary (the country’s leading dictionary). Leaves journalism and goes into literature. Takes part in Afrânio Coutinho’s Brazilian Encyclopaedia of Literature. Participates in Poemação, with Roberto Moricone, at Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art. Publishes Maria in the Land of My Eyes at Rocco Publishing, with a preface by Antônio Houaiss and Eduardo Portella.
1976 - Oscar Araripe goes to live in Mirantão, in Southeastern Brazil, where he spends 13 years.
1982 - Publishes Mars, Jupiter and Me, for Marco Zero Publishing, with a preface by Márcio Souza.
1984 - Writes I Promeu, 450 pages of inspired prose, which finishes his literary trilogy. As a calligrapher he draws 12 "transcription visions" of Brazilian rock paintings, which he titles Pillars. At the same time concludes the Oui Xiang-Xing Oui pillar, with 500 images.
1988 - Exhibits in the Olívia Kann Gallery, Ipanema, Landscapes and The Areião Pillar, presented by Jean Boghici.
Oscar Araripe continues to renew the art of painting, not only through his brushstrokes and original colors, spontaneous and unusual, but also the materials he uses, such as synthetic canvas (nautical sail) and tubular structures for frames and support, which permits him to exhibit outdoors directly to the public. Also greatly appreciated are his pen and ink and drawings on tracing paper and laser film.
His landscapes, flora, animals and erotic art, his visionary transcriptions of arcane art, his literature continue to merit the attention of established critics, of journalism and of culture, such as Frederico Moraes, Jean Boghici, Alberto Beuttênmuller, Walmir Ayala, Augusto Marzagão, Luis Galdino, Milton Ribeiro, Marcio Cotrim, Fernando Lemos, Mario Margutti, Tertuliano dos Passos, Marylka Mendes, João Bosco de Castro Teixeira, Rubens Araújo, Hélio Carneiro, Gustavo Praça, José Geraldo Heleno, Wilson Lima, Oyama Alencar, Palhares Jr., Cherlânyo Barros de Castro, Odail Gomes, Manuel Garcia Noriega and Vicente Botin. His literary work has been analyzed by Antônio Houaiss, Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, Eduardo Portela, José Paulo Moreira da Fonseca, Wladimir Palmeira, Miguel Paiva, Ricardo A. Setti, Berman Swartt and Márcio Souza.
Invited to inaugurate new exhibition spaces for painting, he opens the Villa-Lobos Room of the National Theater in Brasilia in ’91 and Rio’s Arpoador the following year with The Pillar of Uaupés, under the auspices of Art Rio.
His wall panels on Tiradentes, the Brazilian hero, are exhibited simultaneously, in 1992, at Rio’s Museum of the Republic and in the patio of Ouro Preto’s Inconfidência (Conspirators) Museum during bicentennial celebrations, and then later at the Mineiro Museum, in Belo Horizonte.
Still in ‘92, exhibits Kites at the Bank of Brazil’s Cultural Center in Rio, as well as his work Extinction Never More in Rio’s Botanical Garden as part of United Nation Eco-92 with a viewing public estimated at 2 million.
In June of ’93, re-inaugurating the Ouro Preto Winter Festival, exhibits Kites of Freedom in Tiradentes Square and, in December, Nativity, in Oscar Niemeyer’s Little Chapel of Our Lady in Brasília, where beautiful paintings of the great Mineiro painter Alberto da Veiga Guignard can also be found. Still in ‘93 paints Ouro Preto, exhibiting 16 canvases at the Ouro Preto Art Foundation and at Rio’s Villa Riso.
In March of 1993 he opens his own gallery in Tiradentes, MG, where he takes up residence. In April, during Funrei’s 7th anniversary celebrations, exhibits Tiradentes, the Courageous Lieutenant in São João Del Rei. In July, for the opening of the 7th Winter Cultural Festival, exhibits São João Kites at various locations throughout the city.
In March of 1995 undertakes an interactive painting project with children of Tiradentes during the Federal University of Minas Gerais’s Cultural Workshop, exhibiting Day and Night outdoors in the town’s central square.
In July opens the show Tiradentes, the Little Village in the old Courthouse, exhibiting 15 canvases on the adorable big little town.
In December of the same his series of 14 paintings São João Del-Rei goes on show at the Regional Museum.
In ´99 he returns to the sea and paints Long Island, off the Paulista coast, and San Simeon, on the Central Coast of California in the US.
In 2000 exhibits The Dance of the Giant Anteater, which wins World Art Award of Excellence at ArtSpace2000, and is invited to exhibit at the World Art on Paper 2000 Festival, in Kranj, Slovenia; has his site listed in the 100 Top Art Sites and wins dozens of international art prizes. In July and August of 2001 exhibits Seascapes and Fishermen´s Houses at the Porto Seguro Museum of southern Bahia. In November is invited by TriAmericas.com to exhibit Horse of America at New York’s Lincoln Center, as well as American Entities at the Paul Robeson University of New Jersey, USA.
In 2002 opens a studio in the Historic Center of Porto Seguro, Bahia, where he lives for four years – during which time the video Oscar Araripe, by César Tolentino and Marinho Antunes, wins at the 5th Film Festival of Tiradentes, MG and subsequently receives various other prizes at festivals in Brazil and abroad. In 2003 is invited to Florence, Italy’s IV Biennial and opens exhibitions in Toulouse, France and Madrid, Spain. From this time on participates in various exhibitions in Spain and France.
In 2004, he paints the heroine of Brazilian Independence from Ceará (in northern Brazil) named Bárbara de Alencar portrait, his ancestor six generations back. He paints also “The Dragão do Mar”, a slavery libertation popular leader in Brazil. This same year exhibits Flowers for the Living at the Jade Gallery in Juiz de Fora, MG and opens the exhibition Ceará, at the Oboé Cultural Center in Fortaleza and then at the Cariri University in Crato, CE. In November that year exhibits Bárbara and Iracema, two women of Ceará at the Cearense Press Association.
In March of 2005 exhibits An American Springtime at the Solange Rabello Art Gallery in Miami. In July participates in the Caribbean Festival of Santiago de Cuba, exhibiting Caribbean Re-petroglyphs outdoors at the Céspedes Park, which reached an estimated audience of 60,000. In 2006 repaints Tiradentes, the brazilian hero and exhibits Tiradentes Revisited (landscapes), at the Four Corners’ Solar dos Ramalhos, practically in front of his studio. Together with his wife Cidinha and friends, after acquiring the house next door, he creates the Oscar Araripe Foundation, www.oafundacao.org.br
In April 2007 exhibits paintings and drawings in GLTA gallery, in FIEMG Cultural Center in Ouro Preto, Brazil and in greec island of Ioninna and Syros /The Charter of Human Responsibilities exhibition. Also in 2007 his 6X3 metres pannel The Blue Dragon is showing in China Week Forum at Campinas University / São Paulo / Brazil.
In 2008 exhibit his mural Homage a Nezahualcoyotl in Chapingo Biennial, México. Recent Flowers in GLTA Gallery in Ouro Preto and Tratos Culturais Gallery in Cataguases, both in Minas Gerais State and in BNP Paribas Gallery in São Paulo, SP .
Updated in August 2009