Today is Carybé Day

É argentino, é brasileiro, é quichua,

é asteca, é inca, é carioca por bossa

mas baiano por fé.

É amigo do mundo inteiro

menos de quem náo dá pé.

Canta cantigas de Cuzco

da Havana e do Tremenbé.

É um sambista milongueiro

Bate um violáo de terreiro.

E é santo de cadomblé.

–Vincius de Moraes

 

On the 1nd of October 1997 a guy named Hector Julio Paride Bernabó died while attending a Candomblé ceremony in the city of Salvador, Bahia. With his dead Salvador lost one of its big recent artists. Capoeiristas, Brazilians and artists around the world know him more under his name Carybé.

First of all, I have to admit, I am illiterate in terms of art. You cant possibly walk through a museum faster than I do. It’s not a lack of interest, I am usually not even aware of arts – as long as it is not Capoeira-related. So you can guess now why this guy fills a whole post in this blog? Well, because this guy had a unique ability to capture the beauty of Salvador, of Afrobrazilian culture and, of all, of Capoeira (Angola) in his pictures. I had one of his pictures on my shirts before I knew who this guy was. And as such, and as it is now 11 years ago that he died, I thought it would be great to acknowledge his life and art on this blog!

The person

 

At the 7th of February, 1911 in the city of Lanús a boy named Hector Julio Páride Bernabó was born. Lanús is a city in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentine. In Rio de Janeiro he worked as an errand boy and earned his name Carybé, which is a type of a piranha. When he was 14 he started engaging in artwork in his elder brother’s atelier in Rio and 2 years later he started studying in the Escola National de Belas Artes. After his studies Carybé did work as graphic artist for different journals and eventually visited Salvador for the first time. This was in the year of 1938. Only after many other travels and jobs he had, visiting all over South America, he was invited to stay in Bahia in the year 1950. And there he stayed till his death in the year of 1997. Here he produced his greatest artworks, like As Três Mulheres da Xângo and worked together with great contemporary artists like Pierre Verger or Jorge Amado. But Carybé was not only a famous artist, but he was also an Oba de Xângo, a Candomblé priest till his very end. At the 1st of October 1997 he died during a ceremony.

His art

 

Carybé was priest, painter, graphics artist and sculptor. His most known artswork does picture Afrobrazilian culture as he has seen it in his 47 years of Salvador, Bahia – and thus, is one of the most valuable sources of information on life in late 20 centuries Bahia. Of special mentioning are his pictures about Candomblé and of Orixás, which does leave us insight into a culture most non-Candomblistas won’t see much (especially us Gringos who are not even living in Bahia, let alone in Brazil!). Beautiful examples are his sculptures of Orixás, like the one of Oxun you see below.

 Capoeira

Carybé did also visit Rodas de Capoeira Angola, like Mestre Waldemar’s Roda in the Liberdade neighbourhood. Here he was in the 60’s and made his drawings, which are nowadays known in the whole Capoeira Community. I have seen a lot of them without noticing that it was actually Carybé. But next time one of you sees one of these pictures, or one which does look alike, maybe you will remember one of the few artists who was able to capture Capoeira’s beauty with only a few lines on paper. And now I will leave you alone with a couple of Carybé’s Capoeira pictures. Sit back and enjoy!

 

So, that’s it. No, it’s for sure not all the artwork you can find of Carybé. On the site of Capoeira-Info.org you can also read and see one of his booklets “A jogo da capoeira” with many beautiful drawings of Capoeira. Carybé was extremely active and I leave it to you people to look further and jump into this tiny, but strong, bits of Afrobrazilian culture Carybé is presenting us with his artwork.

 

In memoriam:

Carybé, 1911-1997

 

Sources:

Wikipedia

http://www.pinturabrasileira.com/artistas_bio.asp?cod=81&in=1 (Portuguese)

 http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6415/carybe_opener2.html

http://capoeira-infos.org

Pictures:

www.artenet.com.br

www.macacocapoeira.free.fr

www.uniflorgta.edu.br

www.vitorbraga.com.br

www.nzinga.org.br

http://musibrasil.net

www.gruposenzala.com

www.pitoresco.com.br

7 Comments

Filed under Capoeira Today

7 responses to “Today is Carybé Day

  1. Soldado

    Very nice piece Angoleiro. Interestingly enough, one of my first contacts with capoeira involved one of his prints. I was at a batizado and the mestre there had on a shirt with some of his art on it.

  2. xixarro

    Hey Angoleiro.
    I knew his art as well, but not his name. Thanks!

    PS: as I needed a new banner for my blog I used some of his art and gave it a personal touch. Do you like it?

  3. hey soldado, hey xixarro, so you had the same experience as I had. first seen the pictures and then found out about the name behind these. I love those pictures, and xixarro, I think it’s a great idea to use them for your blog and I’d say your personal touch is nicely added! congrats! (actually, why didnt I think about using his art for my log?😉 )

    cheers

  4. xixarro

    Hehe angoleiro.
    Luckely for you he was a very busy painter. There’s still a lot of his artwork available for your blog. Be creative😀

  5. Hm…this one was waiting since a while on my desktop. what do you people think?

  6. xixarro

    It’s really hard to make out what’s on the left and right of you’re name. But I do like the zebra! He looks better than before.

  7. Yeah, I know… gotta see if I can make them a bit bigger. but they are restricted by the size of the name. anyway, I think I like this logo more than the first one (did also involve more work😉 )

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