Photo Credit: Michael McCabe
On Friday, April 15, 2016 international, pop artist Romero Britto teamed up with Park West Gallery for a private VIP Auction held at the Ritz Carlton, Dallas. Park West Gallery has exposed more than nearly 2 million customers around the world to fine art through art auctions on cruise ships, in major cities and in their galleries in both Michigan and Florida.
A ball room filled with specifically commissioned works by Britto were auctioned off by VIP Art Director Jason Betteridge to anxious bidders hoping to walk away with their very own work by the legendary artist. Collectors of Britto’s work include Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Andre Agassi as well as the Guggenheim family, the Rothschilds, the Kennedys, the Mitterands and former Whitney Museum President, William Woodside.
Not even Britto could have anticipated or imagined what success his career would bring in an industry with such a narrow scope of success. From humble beginnings to having a celebrity status, he continues to push the boundaries of his craft by finding new ways to translate a visual language of hope and happiness that has inspired millions of people.
The use of vibrant, bold and colorful palettes which reflect Britto’s optimism about the world around him have become a signature part of his art. His unique fusion of Pop Art and Cubism has led him to create a new and successful niche in contemporary art. Born in Recife, Brazil; Britto taught himself to paint at an early age, painting on anything he could get his hands including scraps of paper or cardboard. Over the years his intense passion to grow and excel led him on a trip to Paris where he was introduced to the works of Matisse and Picasso. His appreciation of these masters influenced him greatly and he continues to draw inspiration from them for his artwork.
In 1988 Britto left Brazil for Miami in a move that would become pivotal for his career. The exposure that he was able to gain on an international level led to his commission by Absolut Vodka or a high-profile ad campaign. For this incredible opportunity, he was chosen along with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, two iconic artists. Today his recognizable collaborations with some of the world’s largest conglomerates are seen around the globe. His commissions have included: Grand Marnier, Apple Computers, Bentley, Coca-Cola, Hublot, Mattel, Pepsi-Cola, IBM, Disney, a United Nations postage stamp series, Britto Mini Cooper for BMW, the Mariner of the Seas for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and most recently, BankAtlantic.
To date Britto’s work has been exhibited in over 140 galleries and museums in over 100 countries, including the Salon de la Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre in 2008 and 2010. In 2013, Maria Elena and Carlos Slim Domit invited Romero to be the first living artist to exhibit at Museo Soumaya. He has created public art installations for the 02 Dome in Berlin, New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Cirque Du Soleil at Super Bowl XLI, and has been credited with the largest monumental sculpture in London’s Hyde Park history. Britto served as an official artist for the 2010 World Cup, Ambassador to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and was recently invited to be an honorary torch bearer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Throughout the years, Romero has been a persistent activist for charitable organizations worldwide and in the spirit of service has managed to combine his love of art with his love of giving. Strongly believing that “art is too important not to share.” Britto has donated time, art, and resources to more than 250 charitable organizations. Wanting to be actively involved in making a change, Britto has been selected as a speaker for the arts at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. In addition, the artist is an Inaugural Founding Benefactor of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. He holds a seat on several boards such as Best Buddies International, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and was recently appointed to the board of HRH The Prince of Wales charity, The Prince’s Trust. Realizing what a vital impact art had on his own life, he believes in the role of an artist as an agent of positive change, and is committed to developing and supporting how art will impact world issues in the future.
His gallery located in Miami Beach, Florida has become a meeting place for school children, celebrities, collectors, and art enthusiasts.
What is it that you would like to convey/communicate with your work? I like to evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and positive energy. If I translate that in my art, my job is done.
What are your artistic influences? Anything that impacts my sensibilities serves as inspiration for my work. I find inspiration all around me.
How would you classify your art? All I know is that many people call me a pop artist! It’s an honor to be included in the same genre amongst greats like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Who is your favorite artist? The greatest influences of my work have always included masters Matisse and Picasso. And how can you not admire Warhol, and Haring and of course the greats – Pollock, Leger, Dali, and DaVinci to name a few. You can say I am influenced by many. I’m an artist, a creative being that sees beauty and finds inspiration in everything around me, in the world.
Is there a place in the world that inspires you? Provence continues to inspire me.
What would be your dream project/collaboration? It would be an absolute dream to collaborate with Fernando Romero whom designed the Museo Soumaya in Mexico.
Can you describe a single habit that you strongly believe attributes to your success? I have a system where I wake up very early and go straight to my studio to paint. It is the only way I like to start my days.
What’s next on your agenda? So much! Besides being invited to serve as an honorary torchbearer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, I have two new stores opening this summer in Miami. In honor of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Japan, I was chosen for an exhibition of over 100 of my works that will travel to three Sogo-Seibu department stores in Japan over the course of the summer, I have a solo show for my art in June at Castle Galleries. These are just a few projects that I’m working on currently!
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing? Most probably a Diplomat for Brazil. That’s what I wanted to be when I was a child.
What are your feelings about carrying the torch in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil? It’s a huge honor, especially as a Brazilian to serve as a Rio 2016 Olympic Torchbearer. The mission of the games is to unify and to help build a peaceful, better and happier world through sport. I try to do the same thing through my art. So this opportunity is very special to me.
Are you involved in any non profits or charities? Giving back is a top priority for me. I donate my art, and my time whenever I can. I’ve worked with at least 250 charitable organizations, including Best Buddies International, Miami Children’s Hospital and The Prince’s Trust to name a few.
Why do you think people love your art? Many have told me they love the playful and optimistic spirit the artwork embodies. It makes people happy.
You are one of the few artists that have made their art accessible to everyone. What prompted that decision and what is its impact? My belief is art is too important not to share. Art can be very impactful. It can inspire you to dream. Everyone should be able to have that.
Recently you have deliberately started to be more monochromatic in your paintings. What challenges has that presented with everyone’s expectation of your bold, colorful art? It has been a process for several years now to reach these new collectors. It is a whole new audience that sees colors and emotion in a monochromatic way.
What is the role you feel art plays in society? Art should be an agent for positive change.
You have a painting by Bubbles, Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, is it your favorite work of art in your home? It is in fact one of my favorites! I actually keep it in my studio to show all my guests what a wonderful artist he was right next to a picture of him and Michael.
What themes do you most pursue in your artwork? I strive for my work to be hopeful, curious, and colorful.
How has your artwork evolved since you began? My artwork has changed a great deal, be it by subject matter, mediums used, and even variations of color. It continues to evolve.
What’s your best advice for an aspiring artist? Always believe in yourself.
Carrousel du Louvre, Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts
Sonderausstellung der Kinder-Akademie Fulda, Germany
Louvre Museum, Salle Le Norte Paris, France
Today Art Museum Beijing, China
Sichuan Arts Museum Chengdu, China
Museum of Lu Xun Art Academy Shenyang, China
Museum of Guanghou Art Academy Guangzhou, China
Museum of Contemporary Art/MOCA Shanghai, China
Maison de Imerique Latine de Monaco- Monaco
Boca Raton Museum of Art Boca Raton, FL
Coral Springs Museum of Art Coral Springs, FL
Fine Arts Museum of Long Island Hempstead, NY
Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art Miami, FL
Museo de Bellas Artes- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Goodwill Games Museum, Lake Placid, NY
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Museo da Imagem e do Som Sao Paulo, Brazil
Officina de Arte Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Museo de Cinco Pontas Recife, Brazil
Benemerita Universidad Automoma de Puebla, Mexico
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Photo Credit: Michael McCabe