Fernando de Jesus Oliveira, Ferjo, was born in Bahia Brazil, in 1946. Ferjo is one of the most dynamic and intriguing artists on the contemporary international scene. His surreal way with a canvas has been honored with Ferjo winning the prestigious Crescent Scholarship at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1979) and the New York Council for the Arts Award for Excellence in portraiture and interiors (1985). Ferjo also has two paintings on permanent display at the United Nations.
From 1974 – 1979, Ferjo trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts – an institution long recognized for its tradition in realist painting and sculpture. During this five year period, he began painting cubist-style landscapes in the tradition of the early Gorges Braques, eventually moving to realist portraiture. This is perhaps best exemplified in a mock group portrait (1978-79) of the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy in which Ferjo posed his subjects in sitting positions similar to those of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”.
Ferjo’s mastery of realist painting became widely recognized in galleries that emphasized this kind of work. Since leaving The Academy, the artist’s technical ingenuity led him to explore various themes and styles, ranging from realism to surrealism. Ferjo’s interpretations of famous artistic depictions, such as the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Van Gogh and Chagall have made Ferjo an artist of merit. His ability to paint realistically and then to extend realism into a surrealist vision, filled with symbolic significance taken from the world of dreams and fantasy, is one of the more extraordinary characteristics to be found in his paintings. Ferjo’s versatility and imagination creates a kind of magic in his paintings, where you get a sense of another world that excites the imagination.
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