Mão, visual artist from Brasília, Brazil. Photography © Mão
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I am an artist and illustrator born in Brasília, Brazil. As a kid, I used to draw characters from the Simpsons and create small comic books.
However, my focus shifted when I started playing basketball and went to the U.S. for college. After graduating in Mathematics and Computer Engineering, my passion for art started growing again, so I went back to the drawing flow and started to sell my work to friends and acquaintances. In 2016, I decided to resign from my job as a programmer and dive into my art career.
Nowadays, I work creating illustrations and developing commissioned graffiti murals. The diversity of colours present in most of my works is mixed with tendencies, nature elements, and the urban routine originating something new. Street art is one of my main sources of inspiration.
2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?
My favorite one is Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), due to their variety of work including paintings, sculptures and design. Another museum that always comes to my mind is Lenbachhaus in Munich, Germany. It has many different styles that I strongly believe helped to expand my mind with different ideas and future projects.
3.How important are social networks in your business? And which platform do you prefer and why.
Social networks are really important nowadays and consequently are the main channel used to promote my work. It makes art more democratic. My preference is Instagram because it helps to “spread” art in a quicker and more effective way.
4.What are your future projects?
I have many projects to create and develop, from individual exhibitions to social projects close by to where I live. Currently, I am working on the concept of an exhibition for the next year or so. Also, I have plans to travel overseas and attend graffiti events around the globe.
5.To create greater engagement among museums, artists and professionals, do you have any advice for cultural projects such as #MuseumWeek?
Maybe creating something like an artistic residence project, where artists would have the opportunity to travel to other places, study, exhibit and visit different museums. Afterwards, they would bring the knowledge acquired throughout the process and apply to a local museum project, for example. Like a multiplier. For me, this would be a great opportunity to create engagement between the artistic community.
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
Luís Santos, also known as Mão, (Portuguese word for “hand”), is a Brazilian visual artist and his career as an artist began very early, when as a child he drew comics set in the Middle Ages and with comic scenes. Then abstract, digital art from passion became a real need in 2014, when he was commissioned to carry out the first works.
Mão’s artistic production develops on a wall, on paper and other media and mainly creates famous characters from Disney and Pixar cartoons or video games from the 1980s, such as Mario Bros and Yoshi, but also animals often portrayed with human features, fun and strong colors. The artist lives and works in Brasília.