First published: Winter 2005
Joaquim Antunes, who prefers to sign his work ‘Baptista Antunes’, joining the family names of both his father and his mother, is an exceptional rarity – a self-taught artist on the verge of being accepted into the inner sanctum of the professional art world.
Until recently Baptista Antunes has been known principally for his strongly decorative and symbolic paintings. Yet this spontaneous artist, an instinctive Surrealist, is also a sculptor. In recent years he has begun to paint on natural forms which he assembles into figures, using roots, tree stumps and pieces of driftwood found along the river and in the countryside near where he lives. As colourful and vivid as the imaginary fauna and flora which crowd into his paintings, these sculptures give a insight into the inner logic of this artist’s world.