Hélio Teles was born in
1967 in the central Brazilian state of Goias where he studied philosophy and
theology and was, at age twenty, the youngest ever directly elected council
member in Brazil, representing the town of Itapirapua. Here he became increasingly
involved with the struggle of the landless workers movement. During this period
he became aware of the chronic and systemic nature of poverty in Brazil as
he witnessed the poorest of society struggle through their lives, but he possesses
an optimism for which Brazilians have become famous. He has transformed his
memories of the fragile lives of those he worked with into an artistic interpretation
of the world they inhabited. The walls, windows and doors of their simple
houses, have become for him an expression of their struggle, and of their
The use of mixed media is an attempt to recreate these dwellings - layers of impasto imply the world outside, thinly applied paint a reflection of the world inside.
Hélio’s first artistic inspirations came from Brazilian artists such as Portinari and the work of photographer Sebastiao Salgado has also been a profound influence, with his photographs of the landless poor. In recent years the work of Antoni Tapies and Alberto Burri has been influential, primarily due to their use of mixed media. The thematic treatment of the wall in the ‘graffiti’ series by photographer Brassai, has reinforced the emotional context of the wall in social and cultural terms.
Hélio came to England in 1995 to study Art and English and now has an MA in Fine Arts at the City and Guilds of London Art School. His first studio was based in St. James Church, London W11 and he is now resident and works from his studio in West London.
to read a Spanish article on Hélio from BBC Mundo.com
What people say about Hélio's work...
"Stunning! A wonderful show..."
"Beautiful work and such sensitivity"
"They (the paintings) create a beautiful space to find each day..."
"The imagery and technique used is very well composed and balanced"
"I was really touched and impressed...thank you for sharing your talent"
"Muito Obrigada! So strong and gentle"