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Carlos DeMedeiros

Sometimes it takes an Outsider Artist to remind us how the unconscious serves not only as a powerful source of inspiration but the only source that results in truly compelling art. Brazilian American artist and former monastic scholar, Carlos DeMedeiros, is often associated with ‘Outsider Art.’ His medium is mostly exclusively found objects, including bits of material that pass through our hands daily, like paper receipts, mint tins, and hangers. Carlos explains, “In my life I have struggled with issues of religion and faith, immigration and displacement, politics and identity.” DeMedeiros’ fascinating biography with its many unexpected twists and turns has left him with a remarkably fertile imagination and an obsessively compulsive exploration of the visual world. Born in Cabo Frio, Brazil, Carlos was raised in a Catholic household, enlisted in the Brazilian Navy at seventeen years old, then knocked on the monastery door to live the life of a monk. It was during those years of prayer and service that Carlos started cultivating his unique artistic brilliance. Many years later, Carlos discovered his Jewish roots and was featured in the documentary, Children of the Inquisition, tracing the journeys of families who were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions. After seventeen years in the monastery, and many tests of his faith, Carlos went on a pilgrimage to the United States before making the commitment of priesthood. Upon his return to Bolivian monastery, he made the decision to leave the monastic life. DeMedeiros traveled back to the United States and eventually made the move permanent to start a new life with his now husband. Carlos got his citizenship with the help of Hillary, yes that Hillary. Perhaps it is because English is not the artist’s first language that the layers of verbal puns come alive, and the invisible poetry becomes visible. The themes in DeMedeiros’ work touches the often-fraught intersections of religious authority, politics, subculture, pop culture, and alternative sexuality – a kind of “outsider” Pop Art, urban-folkloric with a splash of Fluxus anarchy and sensual Neo-Dada. Carlos DeMedeiros’ insightful and sophisticated work has been acknowledged internationally. His work has been exhibited at the New York Public Library, The Art Students League of New York (where it garnered several awards), 80 Washington Square East Galleries, and numerous galleries in Central and South America. Recent notable exhibits include The Ties That Bind for Trinity School's 300th anniversary, Art and Activism at Bluffton University, Ohio, and Outsider Art Fair in New York City. For the Sing for Hope, Street Pianos Project, Mr. DeMedeiros created twenty pianos which were displayed throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Mr. DeMedeiros’ work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Upcoming exhibition: 5th Homosurrealism at Resistance Gallery in London.

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