Houston Matters

Artist Tony Paraná Layers Vibrant Brazilian Themes Upon A Bayou City Backdrop

Brazilian artist Tony Paraná talks about growing up in a “favela” — a cramped, impoverished community in his native country — and about creating art inspired by his adopted hometown of Houston.

BCAF Featured Art - Tony Paraná
A painting inspired by Houston and Brazil, created by artist Tony Paraná as the featured artwork for the 2017 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. Paraná is the event’s featured artist.

Artist Tony Paraná
Houston artist Tony Paraná is a Brazilian native who’s the featured artist at the 2017 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown.

The annual Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 14-15, 2017). The festival showcases the work of numerous local artists, including Tony Paraná, a Brazilian artist who now calls Houston home.

He recently unveiled a new piece inspired by his adopted hometown, and it will be the featured artwork for the downtown festival.

The painting features Houston’s skyline in the background, blended with a scene of children playing around water fountains at Discovery Green. It also features some elements of his home country: the children are practicing capoeira – a Brazilian form of martial arts – and there’s a favela visible between skyscrapers – those are cramped, often impoverished neighborhoods seen in Brazilian cities.

Paraná tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about his work, about life growing up in a favela, and the piece that will be showcased at the festival.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He...

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