(this page was last updated in July 2016)
Born in Salvador, Brazil, 1976.
Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Represented by Galeria Movimento.
PIPA 2014 Nominee.
Video produced by Matrioska Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2014.
He was writing in the space.
in the skin, on the palm, on the petal,
Today’s graph in time,
light of the moment.
Text by Isabel Sanson Portella
Art critic and curator
Tomaz Viana, also called Toz, is from Salvador, Bahia, born in 1976. He inherited from this land of All Saints a taste for color, sea, and exuberant joy of simply living. The children’s games, folk festivals, cartoons and comic books were forever on the boy Toz’s memory and came with him to Rio de Janeiro. At age 15, he already accumulated knowledge of art, since he accompanied his mother to painting classes and they enjoyed making their own designs using various materials. His father, who worked in advertising, always encouraged his scribbles and doodles. Toz tried tattooing as his first job, but he disliked blood and decided to change plans. When he arrived in Rio, the young boy from Bahia was amazed, especially with graffiti. There were so many and in various different places, where he had never been able to see them in that quantity and diversity in his land before. He began his career as a graffiti artist and, following tradition, did many wildstyle letters, with arrows and risks. But this did not satisfy him. He wanted the opportunity to develop the characters that he began to create, inspired by his story and his creativity. During this period hip hop, the skaters and graffiti artists gained strength and pushed forward a type of immediate and urban art.
Toz then, influenced by financial needs, decided to study design and start a career. When he began understanding the Graffiti at a deeper level, a passion had taken hold. From then on, it was nearly 10 years: he went to the streets, created an identity, looked for new surfaces, painted on pieces of wood, abandoned cars, boxes and crates. Mainly, he drew attention. His characters spoke to the soul of the beholder because they were inspired by his dearest people: his elderly grandparents, his niece, his wife… Therefore it appeared on the walls the old BB, the perfect translation of Peter Pan complex; sensual and sweet Nina; Shimu, inspired by his dogs; Julius. Sometime later, the character Insomnia arises from the need to create vibrations within the night, from the silence and the street noises of the night. The changes of life generated a new look to the surroundings, and he realized other beings and other shades. As Toz says, “we lost sleep when we are too sad, too happy, too passionate or too disillusioned.” When he passed the night phase, he emerged with the gorgeous light from the Joy Seller, the one that brings with him giant colourful balls and lightness.
Toz creates as a necessity. He thinks of canvas that depicts different times of his life, his story. Mixing materials, he scribbles and practices drawing every day in an endless search for new forms, using spray or brush, oil paint or collages. Toz writes a story inspired by the modern and urban daily life. He moves both on the streets and in art galleries where his strong style, the intense colours and the theme, speak strongly to the playful space within us and invade our perspective.
– Graduated in Graphic Design, UniverCidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Metamorfose”, Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Traço e Trejetória”, Lançamento do Livro, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Vendedor de Alegria”, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Salão de Arte”, Clube Hebraica, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Insônia”, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Toz em Família”, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Toz, Entre Nós”, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Nina e Shimu no País das Maravilhas”, Galeria Carminha Macedo, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
– “Tudo de Novo”, FleshBeck Crew, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, and Galeria Spray, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Restos Urbanos”, Clark Art Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Exposição Liberdade”, Carlos Vergara, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “The Change”, Banco Mundial, Washington DC, USA.
– “Exposição Rio Nova Arte”, BNDES, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “I Bienal Internacional do Grafitti”, MUBE, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Arte 24hrs”, Sesc, Pier Mauá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Conversando Calado”, Galeria Movimento, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Laços do Olhar”, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Fabulosas Desordens”, Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Fleshbeck na Choque”, Galeria Choque Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “O que é normal?”, Espaço Cultural Ecco, Brasília, Brazil.
– “Mostra Santos de Arte sem Barreiras”, Centro Cultural Patrícia Galvão, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Projéteis de Arte Contemporânea”, Palácio Gustavo Capanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- On view | "Força na Peruca", group show featuring brand new work by graffiti artist Toz
- Opening | "Expo Entes", group show featuring works by Toz
- Changes on PIPA Online and partnership with Sacatar Institute maintained
- PIPA nomination leads Toz to give score 10 for 2014
- Solo exhibition by Toz brings the concept of democratic art
- On view | New solo exhibition by graffiti artist Toz
- See the schedule for the street art event ArtRua 2014
- PIPA Online 2014 | Meet the winner
- Watch this week's video interviews: Ana Paula Oliveira, Beto Shwafaty and Toz
- Video-interview with Toz