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Angolan, Spain Based Art Creator
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Antognoni Brunhoso is an Angolan born artist now living and working in Catalunya and Portugal. His, at times difficult and varied life, has given his art a special depth and richness from within its simple motifs.
Growing up during the civil war in Angola, Antognoni like many others at this time, was a child soldier, before his father managed to organise his families’ escape to Portugal.
In Braganca (north east Portugal) Antognoni was a serious football player and again, a soldier in the Portuguese military before studying at Porto`s Art Academy. During these years he worked on general art, such as portraits, as his style developed.
In 1988, friends encouraged him to move to Amsterdam where he made the decision to become a serious artist. It was here that the freedom and creativity of the famous cities street culture helped him to build a vibrant, modern style of painting distinctly his own.
Antognoni has always been a hard worker and, during this period he was involved in decorative painting of houses, selling hand painted t/shirts, and working with an architect colleague to develop his interest in interior design and decoration.
His distinct, immediately identifiable work, can be described as fitting the figurative abstract category. The style is very African in influence, often with thick white outlines of simple, iconographic shapes of objects, bodies and faces. It came to him he says, “…was an accident in one night.” and reflects his life’s’ history. Underneath the African molded figure shapes, bright, rich, layered and distorted colour remind us of the fluorescent lights of inner city Amsterdam, it`s bars, cafes, nightclubs and culture. Aspects of surrealist style are evident in his works, which initially make us think of relaxing, wining and dining, until deeper, more serious emotions emerge, often through the haunting eyes of his ever present face motifs.
Brunhoso has lived solely from his art for two decades, a claim which most artists working second jobs in restraints, call centres or schools would be jealous of. In order to expand the appeal of his works, he has moved from ‘ serious ‘ work on canvas to sculpture, painting furniture, tiles’, clothes, even ties in his recent tie series.
In Amsterdam he would organise showings and openings in bars and cafes throughout the city and also, using his background in interior decorating, even design and paint the decor of such venues.
Now in Catalunya he has continued this ethic where his art is rapidly becoming a familiar icon of the towns.. In various establishments throughout the town of Tossa de mar , Brunhoso his works can be seen, from a tourist wearing his painted clothing, to a bar where his work is hung. Unimpressed with the gallery system, he prefers to take his work to the people in this way.
Over the past twenty years, Antognoni Brunhoso has travelled and exhibited in a variety of countries and often in collaboration with other artists and musicians. He has worked with La Maison Africaine multicultural centre in Brussels, travelled to Berlin and exhibited in Jena Gora, Poland.
In 2001 he was invited to San Francisco Art institute to lecture and exhibit his style.
The Angolan embassy in Rotterdam in Holland is filled with his work.
Antognoni sells his work privately and can be contacted mail or phone. Or if you visit Tossa de Mar you cannot fail to encounter his distinctive motifs in the bars and restaurants of the town.And in his new workshop in Sant Esteve den Bas.
Even his car is a moving art piece being decorated in blue and white images of fish and faces. A visit to his home studio in the town of Sant Esteve den Bas is also possible and an enriching opportunity to view a number of works on display
He travels regularly to UK, Holland,Portugal Angola and within Spain to create and promote his art. He is planning to return to Angola to bring back to his homeland the rich cultural fruits he has developed since leaving.
From a man who carries the scars of war on his body and mind, the memories of many countries travelled, comes colourful, positive, simultaneously introspective and celebratory art.
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