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A drop of colors © Aotaro / Flickr
A drop of colors © Aotaro / Flickr

A Splash of Color: The Work of Romero Britto

Picture of Sophie Finney
Updated: 21 September 2016
Romero Britto may not be a household name, yet his artwork and graphic designs are instantly recognizable from a number of high profile commissions. With influences ranging from Picasso to mid-Century Pop-Art, Romero Britto has become an important modern day pop culture icon.
Romero Britto Midtown Miami
Romero Britto Midtown Miami | © Bob B. Brown

Born in Recife, Brazil in 1963, Romero Britto began life impoverished. The eighth of nine children, Britto was raised primarily by his mother. To encourage his talent, there were always art books in the house, and Britto was able to spend all his free time copying the artwork. He attributes much of his style and views on art to his early upbringing; growing up poor in Brazil exposed him to the darker side of humankind as a small child. As a result, Britto used his art to bring light and color into his life, and today feels that everybody, regardless of wealth should have the opportunity to enjoy and live with art. Despite his early talent in art, receiving honors at his first public exhibition held by the Organisation of American States when he was just 14, Britto initially pursued a career in law. He soon realized, however, that this career path was not conducive to his artistic and colorful nature, and after two short years, he returned to art.

In 1983 Britto travelled to Europe where he was inspired by the vibrant art of Picasso and Matisse, which he combined with pop art to create his own unique and iconic style. He immediately found success in one man shows held in Germany and England, but the lure of the States and American Pop Art was too much for the young artist to resist. In 1988 the young artist moved to Miami, attracted to the diverse cultural landscape and intense tropical light of the area, not too dissimilar to his native Brazil. It was here that his intense, warm, and bright style truly found a home; within the year Britto was selected to work alongside Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for Absolut Vodka’s ‘Absolut Art’ campaign. Since then his modern Pop sensibilities have lent themselves to numerous other advertising campaigns such as Evian, FIFA and Disney to name a few.

Romero Britto Midtown Miami
Romero Britto Midtown Miami | © Bob B. Brown

Romero Britto’s style has been described as ‘exuding warmth’ and evoking a spirit of hope, which indeed that is his primary aim. Bringing together bright colors and playful themes, his work has a childlike quality. He combines this with inspiration from Cubism as well as Pop Art, thus creating bold and vivid images that are reminiscent of Picasso, and yet