The art of Romero Britto gathers symbiotic elements of popular culture from Pernambuco – a state in Brazil -with sophisticated graphic composition, in the presence of the hybridism of the postmodern art and the “glocalization” (global and local) culture of the Contemporary. Romero started drawing very young, copying the works of other artists he saw in books. He used to articulate compositions in a way that was simplified and naive, but always in bright colors. When he was about twenty-five years old he had the opportunity to go to Europe and then he moved to Miami, in the United States.
There, he was painting walls and selling his paintings through the streets to survive. His amazing compositions with cheerful colors were pleasing to the public of this city. In 1989, Michel Roux, American importer of Absolut Vodka, saw his work and hired him to do the advertising campaign of the drink. The three works created by the artist were broadcast in over 60 international publications, promoting the drink quickly on the world stage. From this event on he has not stopped. He was satisfying to universal desires to live happily. In 1995 he did the campaign for Pepsi and had his designs printed on 1. million cans of soft drinks.
In 1997 he was hired to portray the stars of Disney within the context of his art. He has also developed projects for IBM and Apple. His works have been printed on various products from packaging to cars and even fabrics and accessories for the fashion industry. Romero Britto settled in Miami, married an American, and built the first gallery of his various galleries in Brazil, Europe and USA. In the United States the artist seems to have turned the country idol of Pop Art, with collectors and admirers in high places in Hollywood and American government.
For example: Eillen Guggenheim, a descendant of the founders of the Guggenheim Museum, considers him as a Pop artist at the same level of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. The themes depicted in his works are daily, with simple lines and colors that give the artist an aspect of fun and humor to the figures portrayed. The character of his works publicity and array of colors, shades, and lines put him in the pop art scene and some call it neo pop. The painting explored in this work, called “Children of the World”, was created in 2006, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15).
It was in exhibition in the Governor’s Gallery by Miami Beach artist Romero Britto. This exhibition was part of a statewide celebration initiated by Governor Jeb Bush to commemorate five centuries of Hispanic history, culture, and prosperity in Florida. The Colors The painting contains numerous colors. It is hard to define the predominant one, so a bunch of them will be defined to try to explain better the message of this painting. We can see the pink in different tonalities. Pink is the color of universal love.
Also, pink is a quiet color and brings calm feelings, acceptance, contentment, relaxation, and neutralized disorder. This is one of the colors most evident in the painting, and those meanings define the purpose which is the celebration of a foreign culture (the Hispanic one) in the USA, in harmony with the American one. It wouldn’t be possible without the disorder neutralized, the acceptance of the differences, and mainly, love. Another color in evidence is the purple. According to Crystalcure. com, “Purple is the color of good judgment.
Purple has been used to symbolize magic and mystery, as well as royalty. ” Also, most children love this color. I believe that Britto used this color because it is well accepted by children, and they are one of the focuses in the painting. This color is also used because of the good judgment necessary to deal with the differences when you have opposite cultures. The yellow is also another evident color in the art. Yellow symbolizes wisdom, joy and happiness. This is the message that Romero Britto wants to show in all his paintings – the celebration of a happy life.
We can observe a little bit of blue on the globe that the children are holding, which represents the ocean, but also we can observe it on the children’s body, with another meaning. The dark blue is the color of truth and moderation. The turquoise, found on the hair of the boy is the symbol of youth, and also the color of communication. It contains the growth quality of green with the blue quality of communication. Finally, the aqua is the color of high ideals. Brown and green are other colors found in the art. Combined, they represent wholesomeness and earthiness.
They can signify growth and represent the simplicity, friendliness, dependability, renewal, and environment. The Shapes and Lines Talking about the lines, we can observe that the picture contains curves, parallel lines, and diagonal lines. Analyzing the shapes, we can find circles and organic shapes (for example, the flowers). Circles represent the eternal whole and in every culture are the form that represents the sun, the earth, the moon, and the universe. They have free movement, are warm, comforting and give a sense of sensuality and love. Their movement suggests energy and power.
Their completeness suggests the infinite, unity, and harmony. Finally, they offer safety and connection. Circles suggest community, integrity, and perfection. The Organic shapes are irregular. They have more curves and are uneven. They tend to be pleasing, comforting and lovely. They are free and asymmetrical form and bring feelings of spontaneity. Organic shapes add interest and reinforce themes. In this case, the flowers reinforce the theme of purity, since children are one of the focuses in the art. Another organic shape found is the wing around the globe, which represents the freedom for people in the earth.
The curved lines are softer than straight lines. They can be calm or dynamic depending on how much they curve. The less active the curve is the calmer is the feeling. In this art the lines are less active and represents calmer feelings and peace. The parallel lines are combined with the diagonal lines. Parallel lines of uniform width and spacing create a static and orderly effect. The diagonal lines are unbalanced though. They are filled with restless and uncontrolled energy. They can appear to be either rising or falling and convey action and motion.
Diagonal lines are more dramatic than either horizontal or vertical lines. Light and Space The feeling of space in a drawing or painting is always an illusion. The artists combine the use of light and dark value with other techniques. One of these found in the art is the simple overlapping, with the globe on the children’s hand. This simple overlapping partially hides an object that’s supposed to be behind it. The globe and its wings are covering part of the hair of the children and their hand as well, so that makes it look like is closer to us.
Also, the asymmetrical balance is used, so that means the patterns are placed an unbalanced way in the composition. It promotes feelings of stress, energy and excitement. The light reveals shape, texture, and color. A flat light attempt to eliminate all shadows of the image, and it’s what we can observe in the art. Romero Britto hardly uses Chiaroscuro’s lighting (this one creates strong shadows and is typically associated with emotion or suspense). His works are known mainly because of the brightness and live colors, which make his arts more happy and alive.
Conclusion This art was created by Britto to celebrate the National Hispanic Heritage Month. He decided to have two children as his focus, who were happy and in harmony despite their different culture (we can see by their eyes that one is oriental and the other one is not. The name of the art also brings this notion that they are from different parts of the world. ). The children are holding a globe, which has white wings. This action represents the world is moving toward peace and freedom, and the children can be the agents for that. The colors used combined bring harmony to the art.
The pink represents the love, calm feelings, acceptance and contentment. If combined with the purple, good judgment becomes easier, which is the main meaning of this color. The happiness created by the yellow join with the youth and communication created by the blue, make the world a better place to live. The friendliness and the renewal represented by the green and the brown express the power that children have to have good relationships with everybody and make the next generation more harmonious. The circles represent the connection between people in the world, and the power that we have as well.
We can find this shape everywhere in the art, so Britto wants to reinforce the idea of the integrity and community. That is the purpose of this art for this event in which it was exposed. The lines bring a contradiction though. At the same time that the parallel lines bring the order, the fact that they are in diagonal show restless and uncontrolled energy. That is exactly how the world looks. Right now it is not balanced and there are different forces coming from every direction. So, at the same time those children represent the next generation, the old one is still present and causing disorder.
The soft curves balance the art bringing the peace and calm feelings to this conflicted world. The message passed by The Children Of The World went further than just a celebration of a month. It went further than a celebration of Hispanics living health in the USA. The message is that actually this new generation filled with love, energy, good feelings and friendliness has the power to change the future, and maybe one day all the world will be able to live in harmony and peace, not only this Hispanic community in the USA.
Courtney from Study Moose
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