P.J. Pereira _UNLEASHED

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"When I was a kid, I liked to program but I also really liked to write and draw, which is why I decided to work in advertising. When I moved to Sao Paulo and got an ad job, I also started to paint. I've been in some international exhibitions and it's nice to be involved in a completely creative 'analogue' pursuit where there are no Undo buttons, no saving and deleting. You just paint what's in your mind. I started with Pop-style art, then for a while I did erotic art-the kind of work I wouldn't put in my mother's living room. Then I started painting ancient African masks based on legends of African gods and nature deities. I've been working on a novel that includes orixas-the African gods from Nigeria and Benin-among the characters. African religions are a big influence in Brazil, and I always liked learning about them. When I started to write this novel, I got deep into my research. I stopped painting for a while, but I had all these beautiful books and masks, which inspired me to take up my brushes again. My paintings are a result of ethnological and anthropological research about the rites and religious traditions of the Yoruba, and I'm particularly inspired by the aesthetics of the Gelede Spectacle, in which the Yoruba sing and dance to calm the powers of nature. Painting the masks became something bigger than my novel, which I'm still writing after three years."
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