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Raimundo Camilo

1939 Brazil

2 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist

Raimundo Camilo was born in the state of Ceará in north-eastern Brazil in 1939 or 1943, depending on the source. He left his home region at an early age to work in Rio as a “slave”, as the Brazilian expression has it, taking menial jobs on building sites, in kitchens, and so on. He broke off from his old life as a result of one of these jobs, when one of his employers failed to pay him his due, forcing him to begin eking out a precarious existence on the streets of Rio. He ended up in the Colonia Juliano Moreira psychiatric hospital in 1964, and never left. One of his fellow patients, Arturo Bispo do Rosario, later became the leading representative of Art Brut in Brazil. Haunted by his past difficulties, Raimundo began kneeling by his bed to draw his own bank notes. He uses whatever media came to hand, from paper packaging to administrative forms, and makes his own colours using materials such as coffee. The head on the front of the bank notes represents either a king or a cangaceiro bandit. He willingly shares the notes with his favourite members of hospital staff, particularly women. He claims not to be producing art, but rather doing his job. The Brazilian cultural authorities have become increasingly aware of the significance of his creations in recent years, and they have been featured in several exhibitions and a catalogue. His works have recently been acquired by the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art and were exhibited in 2005 at the museum Oscar Niemeyer (Brésil). He was first shown in Europe at the Christian Berst’s gallery in 2008.

Works by Raimundo Camilo

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