The Artist

A interpretation of the Baroque

retratoIt is uncertain whether it was by some intrinsic drive or by destiny that Hélio Petrus became an artist. He was born in the town of Felipe dos Santos and raised in the historic city of Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais. He grew up seeing and admiring the works of Brazilian masters like Aleijadinho and Ataíde. After that, he soon discovered that he would have no choice other than to search for forms and features within the grain of cedar woods. It seemed to be the natural way for him to appease his restless spirit.

Before becoming a sculpture, he followed various paths: a seminary student, a poet, a musician and a law student. He even became the mayor of the city of Mariana. Eventually, and fortunately for the increasing numbers of admirers of his art, Petrus heeded what he felt was a divine calling, and for the last 45 years he has created wonderful works which have been classified as neo-baroque. His works attract through their intimate beauty and in the way they express the baroque style with a bright patina finish.

The artist reveals the key to his profession: “It is funny that, art as a vocation, descended on me rather late. It is not only a vocation, but a mission, I believe, because every artist is called by God to complete His work of Creation and to beautify and save the world through the inspiration of their art. Before I became a carver, I did a little bit of everything in this life: seminarian, student, teacher, poet, musician, mayor, philosopher, law, etc. At about 25 years old, I was surprised one day when, shyly and respectfully, a face emerged from the wood I was carving without me wishing or wanting it. My career has been one of agonies and ecstasies ever since.”

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