Geraldo Simplício, 'Nêgo'

People - Nova Friburgo


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Since 1969, Geraldo Simplício, or Nêgo, makes sculptures on the slopes of his home grounds in Nova Friburgo - an outdoor workshop named "Jardim do Nêgo" (Nêgo's Garden).

 ego. Photo: Cris Isidoro / Diadorim Ideias.

At 67, Nêgo has had his works exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio and the Friburgo Arts Fair. Many of his pieces were acquired by Germans and some are on display at the Stuttgart Museum.

The sculptor debuted in the art world in 1966, with an exhibition in Crato, State of Ceará. At the time, he worked with wood and exhibited in the cities of Fortaleza and Recife. During this same period, he met art criticism Cecília Falk, in Rio de Janeiro, who encouraged Nêgo's artistic career and his moving to Nova Friburgo.

In a 1981 morning, walking around his ranch, on the road connecting Friburgo to the neighboring city of Teresópolis, Nêgo says he saw the shape of a woman on a slope. His muse and first work in his ranch originated from this insight. He quit working with wood and began carving the slopes, creating gigantic figures scattered around Nêgo's Garden, that has received thousands of visitors since then.

The image idealized by the artist, after sculptured in clay, receives a finishing layer of black mud. It is, then, covered with a plastic tent and, over the months, the humid climate of the region favors the creation of a covering of moss over the work. This natural coating protects the sculptures from erosion.

The artist never got to go to school. Nêgo says he has a "hearing culture" and is able to quote Galileo, Franz Kafka, and Stephen Hawking in one conversation. Talkative, he jokes that he makes the sculptures just to attract people and chat. "I do not want anything beyond this garden. This is my lottery", says the artist.

General Information

Address: Jardim do Nêgo. RJ 130, km 55, Campo do Coelho.
Phone: (+55 22) 2543-2253
Opening hours:

Open daily, from 8am to 5pm. 

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