A peaceful soul. A simple and relaxed arts and science man.
This is Carlito Palmeira, born in Ilhéus, in Bahia. He came to Toronto in 1968, in search of new opportunities. Even though he spent his childhood involved with the arts, Carlito chose to study chemistry in University. A music lover, he became a musician when he began to play the trombone. A self-taught artist, Carlito has been coming up in the contemporary art world, with his collection of leather art, called the Leather Art Collection. Below is the interview that Carlito had with the Wave team.
What were your thoughts when you first arrived in Canada?
Carlito – I came in the month of December, and it was very cold. After a month and a half in Toronto, I thought: I cannot be alone in this cold! At that time we had an Honorary Brazilian Consul, and everything was relatively easier. Then I decided to find out how I could bring my fiancée from Brazil. It was a great meeting. The consul told me about the documents that I would need, and gave me various tips about jobs.
How did you get your first job?
Carlito – As soon as I arrived I had a lot of trouble with the language, so it was hard to find a job in the chemical industry. But, as soon as I became proficient in the English language, everything became easier and I got a job right away. While I was visiting the Honorary Consul, I told her that I was a musician. She was very happy, because at the end of the 60’s, there weren’t even 10% of the Brazilian community that there is today. Soon after, she introduced me to other musicians and after that we formed a band called “Tom Brasil”, which today is known as “Rio Connection”. We worked a lot and, and I helped her on the production of the first Brazilian Ball, the traditional carnival gala in Toronto. I became the musical director of this event and kept this post for around 25 years.
When did you begin your career as an artist?
Carlito – I began to dedicate myself exclusively to the arts after I retired from chemistry. My first paintings were bought by friends, who were delighted by my work.
What were your main influences and how did you develop your style?
Carlito – There are artists and designers who I have great admiration and respect for. I feel privileged to live in the era of Niemeyer, not only is he a great architect, but also a marvellous artist. Niemeyer is the inspiration for many artists, such as myself. I do not follow trends, nor do I adopt styles or characteristics of other artists.
How do you see your art?
Carlito –I am authentic! My projects are an expression of who I am. My creations are a result of the vision that I have of the universe, or better yet, the experience of how I see things in this world around me.
Which artwork do you consider as your greatest collaboration in the art world?
Carlito – Without a doubt my leather creations; the Leather Art Collection. It is a pioneer. I have never seen anything like it in the market. The majority of the work combines metal, natural leather, plastic, synthetic resin, wood and fiberglass.
At which exhibits have you shown your work?
Carlito – Right now I am an artist associated with The Arts Office Net, located in Lauderhill, Florida. So recently, I was invited to show my work, together with a group of Brazilian artists, at the Graham Center Art Gallery at Florida International University. I have had my work shown in the old Galerie Christin, in Toronto, years ago, but the gallery has closed down! Logistics hinders my exhibitions a little. My ateliê is in São Paulo, the main raw material that I use, leather, is hard to find around here. Anyway, I am in search of a curator here in Canada, I will possibly have a new exhibition here next year.
What is your dream, what do you crave?
Carlito – I feel a constant and insatiable need to be creating something. Only now am I finding more time to materialize my creations. I dream of a place in the art world. I dream of having a piece of art shown at the Modern Art Museum in NY. I hope that the great architect in the universe helps me get there.