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Published:January 10th, 2007 10:50 EST
A Closer Look at Artist Joao Werner

A Closer Look at Artist Joao Werner


To experience the Brazilian artist Joao Werner is to embark on a fantastical experience that has not been documented since such works the Iliad. A Renaissance artist of sorts, Werner waxes all things ethereal through mediums of expression that include stone sculptures, wood, digital art, as well as oil workmanships.
Be it oil, ash, digital art or sculpture, there is not doubt of Werner`s poetic nature. Each example has origin in epic stories from Christian to Hindu cultures, revealing in some frozen piece of time that speaks of some great human emotion. In whichever workmanship, the confusing limb angles offer insight into the characters` anguish. Werner uses pain and suffering to create a real and relatable feeling that does not disgust, but intrigues.

Of particular note is Werner`s unique understanding of human nature. Neither praising nor remonstrating a human`s various conditions, has he presented images that are at once very real and very mythical. A true artist, his seemingly unlimited sense of palate fleshes out the stories, such as those carved into cedar panels (as in the intricateness of "Allegory to the life of the Place without a Name"), or the eight cemented panels worked into the front of a household (Shikasta).

Most recently, Werner`s work has been largely centered on experimentations with digital art in both Flash and Photoshop. In Flash, Werner produces a color and texture as rich as the characters portrayed, often laborers as presented in "Sugar Cane" or "Scattering the Coffee Beans". Photoshop resembles the more familiar oil painting, such as in "Boy" (image shown), the reality of the inspiration is not lost through the expression.

Werner graduated from Pontificia Universidade Catolica in Sao Paulo with a Masters degree in Communication and Semiotics. Most recently, his work was exhibited at Jose A. Teodoro Place, Londrina Museum of Arts until May 2005. Until 2001, Werner taught for ten years at the University of the Valley of the Paraiba. Since it`s reopening in 2001, he can be found "creating, painting, and sculpting" in his studio in Londrina.

For more information, images of previous artwork, and critical reviews, visit Werner`s website at  for the Portuguese version or for English.