Pop Goes Britto

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Nancy Heslin   Editor

Romero Britto

Exclusive exhibition in Monaco.

On July 24, as summer temperatures across France soared tosome of the highest ever recorded, Elton John was busy in Cap d’Antibes turning up more heatas he hosted the biggest bash of the season. Held on the grounds of Villa Dorane, owned by photographer Jean Pigozzi, the Midsummer Gala celebrated the 26th anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and raised $6.1 million.

Among the stellar guest list was Brazilian painter and sculptor Romero Britto, who in 2017 donated 50 signed prints of his Elton John portrait in celebration of the singer’s 70th birthday.

Britto held a successful show in London on June 8 at the Castle Fine Arts in Covent Garden and his upcoming first-ever exhibition in Monaco, an invitation-only event presented by Natalia Cola and Forbes Monaco, will be held on September 21 at the Yacht Club.

From an early age, Britto knew he would be an artist, painting everything his eye could see. He left Brazil in 1983, at age 19, and during a trip to Paris his calling to be an artist was apparent.

With a unique style of painting using bright colors and humor, his pop art quickly became recognized in Europe. After exhibiting in several galleries and a private show, Britto decided to move to the U.S. where the genre was booming. He’s lived in Miami since 1989. Britto’s signature style, which combines elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti, propelled his career to an international level. One of his first and most widely recognized works was a collaboration with Michel Roux, who turned Sweden’s Absolut Vodka into a top selling U.S. import with an ingenious advertising campaign that featured Andy Warhol, Annie Leibowitz and other artists. Britto’s contribution was designing a limited edition Absolut bottle. (Roux died in May 2019.)

Last November, Britto, 55, partnered with Chiquita to redesign its iconic blue sticker on over 200 million bananas in the U.S. and several European countries over a 4-week period. And this year, the American pay TV network Nickelodeon celebrates the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants with a series of pop-up tributes across the U.S., including a mixed-media art exhibition by Britto.  

The self-taught artist is also known for portraits, including British royals as well as Prince Albert and Princess Charlene.

For those in Monaco with an eye for art, the new works from Romero Britto promises to be one of the fall’s most significant exhibitions.

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Nancy Heslin   Editor

Nancy (Wilson) Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer.  She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.