Romero Britto is the pioneer of Pop Art as a crucial component of the Miami identity. This Brazilian native was born in 1963 in a town called Recife and before settling in Miami, he studied in Paris where he was introduced to the works of Picasso and Matisse. A revolutionary display of geometry and color, Britto marries influences from Cubism and Pop Art. The mood of his work is generally vibrant, bordering on abstract and sprinkled with childishness. Occasionally, Britto even references international and environmental issues such as globalization, poverty and global warming. His subject matter includes fish, hearts, teddy bears, flowers, Disney characters, celebrities and the occasional nod at environmental policy. You can enjoy his work in sculpture, print and paint and his canvases recently include household items and cars.
Britto’s work has been exhibited in art galleries and museums across 100 countries. His style speaks to children as well as adults and is a genial representation of the Miami way of life. Having stayed in Miami, I had the opportunity to visit his art gallery and workshop on Lincoln Street in South Beach. It was made clear to me that in a place where the people inspire the art, Britto aimed to capture the vibrancy and the eclecticism of the Miami lifestyle. The people exude culture, warmth and positivity and the infrastructure facilitates movement. We’re talking long boulevards lined with stucco, white wash façades, blunt architectural silhouettes, poverty, luxury, style, colourful food and even more so colourful people. It is a place that bustles without being busy, a place that is excited without being hyper and Britto successfully renders this South Floridian lifestyle accessible to a diverse audience.
Britto believes art should be used as an agent of positive change and being an active promoter of these beliefs, his work largely promotes positive actions and icons. His work is also supported by the idea that enjoying art is sometimes exclusive from stylistic preferences and that accessibility and vibe are crucial to conveying message. By embodying the colorful nature of Miami lifestyle, Britto brings optimism and a vibrant palette to the forefront of art and produces something the old, the young and all walks of life can enjoy.
For a brief but comprehensive recap of Britto’s work please enjoy the embedded video! You can also look for Romero Britto during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil as he is the chosen ambassador.