In the 1980s, he moves to New York, frequenting its main museums and galleries. He intensely experiences the underground scene in Soho, Chelsea, and Greenwich Village. This work of discoveries and refinement also extends to some European centers like London, Vienna, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
He routinely travels throughout Brazil, visiting isolated regions such as the Vale do Jequitinhonha, the Pampas of Rio Grande do Sul, and Western Amazônia. He incorporates a rich and singular dialogism into his work, the product of multiple views that interpose themselves onto all the regions of the country that he visits.
In February 1997, EVANGELISTA visits João Cândido Portinari, son of the painter Cândido Portinari and creator of the project that bears his father’s name, along with his friends Carlos Bracher and Décio Bracher.
Carlos Bracher, after assessing some of his work, sees a great artistic potential there, challenging EVANGELISTA to paint three canvases to be assessed by other artists. After analyzing these canvases, Carlos Bracher recommends him to various aacquintances, among them Inimá de Paula, Carlos Scliar, Amilcar de Castro, Siron Franco, Enrico Bianco, and the art collector and curator Gilberto Chateaubriand.
The following paragraphs summarize the result of these interactions:
Carlos Scliar: “His work is the best I’ve seen in art in the last ten years; however, painting is a difficult task with great responsibility, you have a lot of work ahead of you, and you must be persistent because your painting is strong and totally committed to the social.” After this meeting, Carlos Scliar becomes one of his best friends and boosters until his death in Rio de Janeiro in 2001.
Inimá de Paula: They become friends. For quite some time EVANGELISTA visits Inimá in his atelier in the Barroca neighborhood of Belo Horizonte, and they go out at night in Belo Horizonte in search of new themes. They are friends until Inimá’s death in 1999. Inimá’s portrait remains unfinished.
Gilberto Chateaubriand: Through Carlos Scliar’s recommendation, for a time he is a regular frequenter of Chateaubriand’s farm; Chateaubriand compares EVANGELISTA’s work to that of Iberê Camargo.
Amilcar de Castro: In his old atelier in the center of Belo Horizonte, he evaluates EVANGELISTA’s work, which he considers consistent and mature.
Siron Franco: While passing through Belo Horizonte for a show at the Manoel Macedo Gallery, he evaluates EVANGELISTA’s work and finds it to be of great quality.
Regina Boni: His work is evaluated by Regina Boni in her famous Galeria São Paulo; she considers his work to have extreme strength and quality.
Along with the artists above, the plastic artist Enrico Bianco, friend and companion of the genius Portinari, becomes a great influence on EVANGELISTA’s work due to the strength of his own work and his earnestness as a professional.
Roots and Fruit
Sharing a workshop and ideas with some of the main Brazilian artists was fundamental to the development of my relationship with art, whether painting, video, sculpture, photography, or any other form of expression. Looking at our time without forgetting the commitment to society, to our needs as humans, is the great challenge, and art only makes sense if it fills this role.
Reflection on the divine, the meaning of life, and the baroque invariably marks all of my work, as well as the incessant search for new language, materials, and forms of expression. Researching and trying to create a line of artistic and human convergence is the great challenge – perhaps the greatest challenge – of my life. This, without a doubt, is high quality and honest art, in my opinion. A son of Minas Gerais, a son of Belo Horizonte, son of a family where races like Black, Indigenous, and Anglo-Saxon mix, I am how to be human, without a doubt, the pure expression of human possibilities.
In November 2003 the official opening of EVANGELISTA’s first individual show takes place. The location chosen for this event was the garage of the Hotel Maravilhoso, a historical building located in the old section of Belo Horizonte which hosted the personality Hilda Furacão during its golden years. Artists, local personalities, the press, and prostitutes who work there and were portrayed in EVANGELISTA’s works were invited.
"Art is for everyone, and who better to assess the work done than the people depicted.”
November 2004 - IMPLOSIONS
After its opening, the show moves to the Belo Horizonte Culture Center, where it stays for 30 days. Upon the request of the City of Belo Horizonte, some canvases were shown afterwards in the city’s Secretary of Culture, in the Center-South region.
This show had great repercussions in the local media and was very well-received by the public, as well as by the hard-hitting critic Morgan da Motta, a member of the ABCA (Brazilian Association of Art Critics) and the AICA (International Association of Art Critics: “JOÃO EVANGELISTA, documentarist and plastic artist, began his career under the most significant eyes in art: Carlos Bracher, Scliar, Inimá de Paula, Siron Franco, and the collector Gilberto Chateaubriand. The artist always prefers the underground, the excluded, in galleries where the afflicted people seek the remnants of life. Among so many proposals, Evangelista hovers above the limits of the figurative, in the line of his pencil, in the same way as BASQUIAT.”
In December 2005, he has his second solo show, COVEIROS, PLANTADORES DE SEMENTES (Gravediggers, Planters of Seeds), which is launched at the same time as the documentary of the same title.
The documentary is released at the Clovis Salgado Foundation, in the Humberto Mauro Room in the Palácio das Artes in Belo Horizonte. Soon afterwards, the canvases were exhibited for 30 days in the Bomfim Cemetery, the most traditional in the city.
Ÿ In April 2012, he definitively returns to his work with the plastic arts with the individual show SANTAS MULHERES (Holy Women), which features 20 1m X 1.2m canvases.
Now residing in Curitiba, Paraná, he holds the opening of “Santas Mulheres” in one of the country’s most elegant exhibition spaces for events of this type. Soon afterwards, the show moves to all the mall stores of Livrarias Curitiba in the city of Curitiba.
Ÿ Also in April 2012 he paints in real time along iwth the Curitiba Symphony Orchestra in the Castelo do Batel. The result of this project is a 1.2m x 3m canvas which is donated to the Maternity Hospital in the city of Sengés, Paraná, which was gravely affected by a natural disaster.
Ÿ In October 2012, along with a select group of artists, he takes part in the exhibition "With heart against FMG", which is part of the global movement against female genital mutilation. The artist officially represents Brazil with support from the Ministry of Culture through the Interchange and Cultural Diffusion Program.
Ÿ In April 2013, the IMPRESSÕES show takes place. It is a solo show with 38 pieces and takes place in the Livrarias Curitiba bookstore in Shopping Barigui in Curitiba. It is the first showing of works with his new technique of oils on photography.
The following list names some collectors of EVANGELISTA’s works:
Ÿ- Tamara Leftel, journalist and ex-host of the Conta Corrente program on Rede Globo TV.
- Collection of the plastic artist Carlos Scliar, now known as the Carlos Scliar Foundation.
- Collection of the plastic artist Carlos Bracher.
- Murilo Moreno, the executive elected Man in Marketing 2001, winner of the Caboré Prize and currently director of marketing for Nissan.
- Tânia Pimenta, entrepreneur from Minas Gerais.
- Morgan da Motta, art critic, member of ABCA (the Brazilian Association of Art Critics) and AICA (the International Association of Art Critics).
- Ana Maia Nobre, artist and entrepreneur from Alagoas.
- Carla Metne, executive, manager of marketing for Helibras Eurocopter Company
- Miguel Dau, former fighter pilot for the Brazilian Air Force, ex-Vice President of Varig, Vice President of Azul Airlines.
- Collection of the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital, Curitiba/PR.
- José Álvaro Carneiro, entrepreneur from Curitiba.
- Cíntia Peixoto, entrepreneur from Curitiba and founder of Top View magazine.
- Fernanda Richa, State Secretary for Family and Well-Being and first lady of Paraná.
- Isabela Helou, executive from Sao Paulo responsible for marketing for the Braspress group.
- Karina Reis, executive from Curitiba, Cannoh Desenvolvimento Humano.
- Rui Cardoso, entrepreneur, Espanha.
- Marcelo and Adriana Sypniewski, entrepreneurs.
- Gleisi Hoffmann, Minister of Domestic Affairs for the Dilma Roussef administration.
- Tania de Maya Pedrosa, artist and collector of art from the northeast.
- Teresa Sá Carneiro
- Jorge Samek, Director General of Itaipu Binacional.
- Hilda Aristides, entrepreneur.
- Riccardo Guerra, winner of the award for best professional in his area in Brazil.
- Rose Ronconi, entrepreneur.
- Suzana Alexandre, French photographer.
- Kaili Oliveira, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.
- Lilian Lobo, physician.
- Ranieri Gonzales, actor.
- D’ Abrew Sahagum, Portuguese/Angolan intellectual.
- Elisabeth Soder, physician.
- Regina Gonzaga, entrepreneur.
- By invitation, paints a 2m x 3m panel at the Casacor 2012 design event in Curitiba for the architects Chyntia Karas and Marcia Ribas.
- By invitation, at the Casacor 2013 Curitiba event, architect Lu Almeida places two of his 1m x 1.2m canvases into the space paying tribute to the world-renowned Brazilian master João Carlos Martins. One of these canvases becomes part of Martins’ collection.
In the media, EVANGELISTA’s work was highlighted in the following vehicles and programs:
Ÿ Subject in Top View magazine, the most important publication for the upper class readership in the southern region of the country.
Ÿ Interviews with countless local TV channels in Curitiba.
Ÿ The subject of countless regional blog posts in Curitiba.
Ÿ National interview on the Vitrine and Metrópole programs on TVE from the Padre Anchieta Foundation.
Ÿ Created a work for the national landscape of TVE Padre Anchieta Foundation’s “Minuto Assinado” (“Signed Minute”).
Ÿ National interview for the TV Horizonte channel, nationally rebroadcast by TV SENAC’s “Retratos” (“Portraits”) program.
Ÿ National interview with Amaury Júnior.
Ÿ National debate on the Rede Mulher network, on the Rosana Herman Show titled “Via Satélite”.
Ÿ Subject of countless reports on TV Minas.
Ÿ Subject of countless reports on PUC TV/BH.
Ÿ Numerous articles in print media, some available on the web.
Ÿ All the interviews, with the exception of those on TVE/SP, are available on EVANGELISTA’s YouTube channel:
Statements about EVANGELISTA’s work:
“His works are very strong and interesting, and reminiscent of Iberê Camargo.”
GILBERTO CHATEAUBRIAND, Fazenda Porto Ferreira, SP – 1999
“His work has greatly evolved.”
GILBERTO CHATEAUBRIAND, Fazenda Porto Ferreira, SP – 2005
“The works are very good, the themes are strong and the colors vibrant, they are paintings that move you.”
AMILCAR DE CASTRO, Artist’s atelier in Belo Horizonte
“They are strong works, you can distribute all the figures across the canvas in a balanced way, also the colors and the brushstrokes are striking.”
SIRON FRANCO, Manoel Macedo Gallery – Belo Horizonte, MG
“I also would like to portray these themes, they are somber and bohemian, they are the night in Belo Horizonte; I love these street women, the painting of these moments and the way you paint these portraits are unique.”
CARLOS BRACHER, Artist’s home in Ouro Preto, MG
“When you arrived here at home, knocked on the door and we got to know each other, I knew right away that you are a great man, a great human being, a person full of dreams, full of vibrations, full of the will to do, to decide, to create, a person absolutely full of doubts and of riches. I saw that you were ready to do many things and do them magnificently well, and one of these was this matter of painting, the painting that announced itself in you as something very strong, potent, and full of splendors. You launch yourself at this agonized side of expressionism, of the human being, of dense colors; all this is very beautiful and proves your inner richness of expression. Right away I saw that you are a person of great value, of great talent. In art, the most important thing is talent, the most decisive thing in artistic matters is talent and is what everything else develops around.”
CARLOS BRACHER, Artist’s home in Ouro Preto
“Your work is the best I’ve seen in the last 10 years of my life, you have talent, although painting is a difficult task and one with great responsibilities, you have much work ahead of you and persistence is necessary because your work is strong and completely committed to the social.”
Carlos Scliar, Artist’s atelier, Ouro Preto
“I remember one of Scliar’s seasons in Ouro Petro, it was after we arrived from New York; it was the first time that Scliar went to the United States, and we had been at a Matisse retrospective. It happened that at that time was a retrospective of Basquiat at the Whitney Museum, and Scliar, in this new season in Ouro Preto, said: ‘I’ve found here a Basquiat, with the advantage that he’s not a drug user, he’s a person with a very strong intuition’; he was telling me about João EVANGELISTA, a person connected to publicity, but who had begun to be interested in the plastic arts. And he told me this at various times, always talking about the striking presence of EVANGELISTA. I started to become curious to see some of his work, he even has a very interesting triptych that is part of the collection at the Carlos Scliar Cultural Institute and I think that this sequence in his work has to do with a posture, all a personal vision, which today is difficult; that is, within a vision of expressionist painting today, it is limited by all the sequences, all the modernities, all the contemporaneities that are not being widely instilled into the heads of young artists. Scliar said that the young artist, until he was fifty years old, was still in diapers, and I think he was right, the movement of art is the movement of life, it is the sequence of life, EVANGELISTA’s work has a sequence that is well in line with his vision of the world, with his concerns, principally a social concern, a concern from someone who is on that more obscure side.”
Francisco Scliar, Museologist and President of the Carlos Scliar Cultural Institute, Rio de Janeiro.
“In the work there is an important thing, which is a message provided by this individualism that I defend so much, that is to say, it is not a plastic expression and subordinate to some thing; it is only the reflection or the confirmation of a tranquil reality. I think his painting, seen with pure eyes, is extremely understandable; we come to understand you as much as we come to understand, for example, the man who made the sketches in the red caves, who we don’t know, but we know. We know that he is much more than a person principally of interests (as is stated and promoted through television and the press), who passes by like a meteor, leaving a glowing streak and meaning nothing. I think you should continue to firm up what you feel, because it is sincere, only this does not only justify what you do, as affirmed by anyone who looks at a new thing, not in the sense of shocking, but in the sense of recognition: I think this is important, congratulations.”
Enrico Bianco – Rio de Janeiro
“More than revealing colors and shapes and lines, EVANGELISTA wants to defend his cause. He seeks inspiration in everyday life to express, in oil on canvas, the injustices he sees in life. And woman is his constant source, this half-divine half-devil being, whose strength still has not been completely understood. Eternal sufferer, always longing for her men and her sons in the wars and in the streets. Eternally pregnant with so many fetuses, hopeful that one day, someone or something will reveal her and save her soul.”
Mirtes Helena, Assistant Editor of the newspaper Hoje em Dia in Belo Horizonte (May 15, 2005)
Producer, Director and Screenwriter
Before beginning to paint, EVANGELISTA begins his career recording music concerts and theater pieces. Parallel to this work, he becomes intimately involved with cultural movements in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, closely accompanying the work of video art and film directors from Minas who had begun to stand out on the national and international scene, among them Éder Santos, Lucas Bambozzi, Beto Magalhães and Rafael Conde and Patrícia Moran in film.
In 1992 he produces, writes the screenplay for, and directs his first documentary, “Vida Fácil” (“Easy Life”). It premieres at the Minas Gerais Journalists’ Union along with journalist Gilberto Dimenstein’s new book “Meninas da Noite” for the Sempre um Papo project from cultural promoter Afonso Borges.
After “Vida Fácil”, he produces, writes the screenplay for, and directs the following documentaries:
Ÿ “Portinari: o Menino de Brodósqui” (“Portinari: the Boy from Brodowski”),for the 50th anniversary of Masp (São Paulo Museum of Art).
Ÿ “Coveiros: Plantadores de Sementes”, about the work of these professionals. Is launched at the Clovis Salgado Foundation in Belo Horizonte, at the invitation of Chico Pelúcio, founder of the Grupo Galpão and, at that time, president of that group.
Ÿ “Brazil: Reflexões” (“Brazil: Reflections”), recorded in Amazonia, Lisbon and New York.
Ÿ Documentaries showing commercial and military aviation and Brazilian Navy operations; these works become a reference in the field and are sold across Brazil through the site www.hangart6.com.br and at the country’s best bookstores.
Ÿ “Primeiros Socorros: Questão de Vida ou Morte” (“First Aid: A Question of Life or Death”), with the participation of the principal medical personalities of Brazil including Ivo Pitanguy and Renata Duprat and institutions such as the Instituto Butantã, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Associação Paulista de Medicina, Anjos do Asfalto, and others. Presented by the actor Lima Duarte and journalist Chico Pinheiro.
Ÿ Some parts of these documentaries appear at www.youtube.com/evangelistasouza