"CARIOCA - A Year Among the Natives of Rio de Janeiro"

A project consisting of a series of paintings and drawings done while on a Fulbright Scholarship for Painting to Rio de Janeiro for the entire year of 1997.

The project was inspired by the images of European artists who had "explored" Rio de Janeiro in the 1700's and 1800's and returned to Europe with images of the lives and customs of the native people there, who are known as "Cariocas". The project was a spin on the idea of colonialization and notions of superiority by Europeans over the "savage" peoples of Brazil. In the works of these artists, mainly the German Johann Moritz Rugendas and the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Debret, the local populations were categorized and documented as if specimens in a zoo, or as if a newly discovered species.

Before leaving for my year in Brazil, I would tell others where I was going and people would ask crazy things. For example, "Do they have telephones there?". I had previously spent three years living in Rio and knew it as a cosmopolitan city the size of Los Angeles, and yet the ignorance of my fellow countrymen was profound and deserving of ridicule.

My project was a spoof of these 19th Century ethnographic studies, with the premise that I was going to Rio de Janeiro in 1997 as if I had never heard of it, and documenting the daily lives and traditions and living situations and workplaces and leisure activities as if contemporary Brazilians were a "savage" race.

All of the drawings are pencil and ink on paper, 26" x 20".
The paintings vary in scale.

The project was exhibited in it's entirety, along with sketchbooks, found objects, and a catalog, at the Laguna Art Museum in 1998, and again at the San Jose Museum of Art in 1999.

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 "A Partial View of the City of Rio de Janeiro"   1997. Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 96". 
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 "Torcida Jovem de Mengão (A Football Supporter)"   1997. Acrylic on Aluminum. 36" x 24". 
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 "Morena do Morro Dona Marta (Girl from the Dona Marta Slums)"   1997. Acrylic on Aluminum, 36" x 24" 
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 "Surfista do Arpoador (Surfer from Arpoador Beach)"   1997. Acrylic on Aluminum, 36" x 24" 
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 "Garota da Priao de Copacabana (Girl from Copacabana Beach)"   1997. Acrylic on Aluminum, 36" x 24". 
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 "View of Arpoador Beach"   1997. Acrylic on Canvas, 28" x 50". 
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 "Above Botafogo"   1997. Acrylic on Canvas, 43" x 54" 
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 "Night Surfing - Arpoador"   1997. Acrylic on Canvas, 43" x 54". 
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 "Pontão de Leblon - Rio de Janeiro"   1997. Acrylic on Canvas, 43" x 54" 
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 "Negre e Negresse dans le plantation"   by Debret, 1800's. Lithograph. 
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 Venta a Rezzife"   by Debret, lithograph, 1800's. 
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