Man With a Ball Woodblock Print
Brazil, c. 1967
18 x 12 in (46 x 30 cm)
Original woodblock print by Brazilian artist Joaquim Pedro Ribeiro Araujo. The illustrated man's face is particularly expressive, a feat for a print so sparse in its design. The tropical leaves in the background coupled with the yellow and orange colors lend a feeling of exoticism to the artwork. The influence of Joaquim's travels throughout Asia is evident here.
Joaquim Pedro Ribeiro Araujo was a Brazilian artist prominent in the 1960s. He worked with a wide variety of mediums including oils, tempera, ink, and woodblocks. Joaquim surrounded himself with fellow avant-garde artists of the time, including Brazilian modern artists Amilcar de Castro and Helio Oiticica. He studied art in Sao Paulo before moving to Japan where he was introduced to woodblock prints, by which he was greatly inspired. He spent a lot of time in Asia, moving to Bangkok, Thailand, where he started writing opinion pieces for the Bangkok World, climbing the art world ladder. He released his manifesto which focused on the concept of ephemerality—he believed that values are inadequate because time is always changing, therefore one should follow their own beliefs. Opposed to everything popular, Joaquim wanted to challenge the status quo and break the beatnik artist stereotype saying, “my paintings are not just for decoration in the living room. I paint to create a universe.” His works are centered around people he saw in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan, all places where he held well-received exhibitions. He became the first South American to exhibit in Southeast Asia and the first Brazilian to exhibit in Pakistan. Though Joaquim’s works were visually bizarre at times or difficult to grasp, it was hard to critique a man who held such powerful faith in his own work and believed that nothing is unchangeable, even woodblock pieces.
Artist: Joaquim Pedro Ribeiro Araujo
Material: Woodblock prints
Year: c. 1964