Totonho is a self-taught artist, who was born on the countryside in the state of Bahia. He started to paint at a very early age, living on his grandparents' farm.
“I was born and raised at 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 a river and lakes full of fish.
Alongside our farm was an immense forest with native plants and animals,
and full of mysteries …"
During his adolescence, the family moved to Salvador, the capital of Bahia. There Totonho refined his craft and had his first exhibition in 1974. An invitation from Spain in 1988 resulted in his first exhibition outside of Brazil. Since then he has been touring globally and showing his work in Portugal, France, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada and the US.
Nature is the main subject of Totonho's work. By showing the beauty of the Brazilian rainforest, and the devastation of natural beauty by mankind, he aims to contribute to the preservation of nature. Many people worldwide, including composer Robert Irving III and photographer Roberto Dutesco, have been inspired and moved by Totonho's paintings.
"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.”
© Totonho. Image courtesy of the artist.