About the artist:
Amaral was born in 1935 in São Paulo, Brazil. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the Universidade de São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil. His interest in art stemmed from a visit to the 1st Biennial in São Paulo in 1951, where he was intrigued by the modern art he saw. In 1952, he took drawing classes from Roberto Sambonet through the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. Later, in 1957, he entered the School of Engraving and was trained to do woodcuts and linocuts by Lívio Abramo. Amaral's first solo exhibition came in 1958 when he showed a group of engravings at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. In 1959 Amaral enrolled in the Pratt Graphic Institute in New York City where he learned wood engraving from Shiko Munakata and W. Rogalsky. In 1964, there was a coup d’état in Amaral's native Brazil that replaced the democratic government with a military dictatorship. This new government under the military juntas and the sociopolitical and economic effects it had would become the focus of many of his later paintings. In 1967, Amaral opened an exhibition of woodcuts entitled “O meu e o seu” (“Mine and Yours”), after which he switched to painting as his primary medium. From 1968 to 1975, he painted a series of banana paintings, which he is most famous for. Amaral's style is full of close-ups and strange angles. He paints with photorealism and extreme detail. His use of yellows and greens refer to the Brazilian flag and therefore to Brazilians themselves. He often uses dramatic coloring, dark values, and much shadow. The verticals and diagonals he uses bring stress and energy to his paintings, trying to evoke the feeling that what is going on in Brazil is wrong. Amaral traveled between Brazil and New York since the early 1970s, until his death in 2015.