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Jo Fernandes

Born into a modest family, Brazilian artist Jô learned very early to use his creative talents. As a child, he made his own toys and performed countless small jobs for food. In turn a deliveryman, shoeshine boy and supermarket employee, he managed to get a school education where drawing became his favourite subject. A bohemian adolescence pushed him to the roads of Brazil where he survived thanks to the sale of his artworks. Then in the 70s, his skill as a draftsman opened the doors of advertising to him. In the professional sector, he worked successfully as an illustrator and art director until 1999, when he decided to devote himself exclusively to his personal creations.
Passionate about architecture, Jô himself designed the house in which he set up his workshop in Fortaleza (Brazil). Despite a preference for acrylic on canvas, he does not reject any experience and is also interested in various techniques of watercolour, ink, caricature or ceramic mosaic. An admirer of the major artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as the Spaniard Pablo Picasso and Dutch Vincent Van Gogh, the Brazilian painter feels especially influenced by his twentieth century compatriots Alfredo Volpi, Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila and João Turim.
From his previous career, Jô has kept rigor and a taste for simple and direct things. Like the indigenous arts, his painting gets to the essential, without being weighed down by artifice. A careful observer, he has a photographic memory allowing him to capture scenes of everyday life. The artist draws inspiration from the countryside, the seaside, and especially from his suburban neighbourhood. He attends work, parties and meals whose spontaneity and poetic simplicity fascinate him. Clothing, a lamp, a piece of crockery or other objects from his immediate environment also have the power to stimulate his creativity.