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Artist of the week: “Meme” – Emerson Adriano Catarina

September 26, 2011

I would now like to take a moment and look at something different. The work of Meme is groundbreaking and been widely adapted on the internet. However, the recognition of this former-tropicalismo artist has been left behind.

Meme is an cyberpainter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color, has a far-reaching influence on modern cyber art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he almost died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His work was then only known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.

He began to draw as a child, and he continued making drawings throughout the years leading to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting much until the uprising of the tropicania, after which he moved to Tanzania, completing many of his best-known works during his last two years. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes of giraffes, portraits and paintings of native people, djembes and tanzanian brothels.

Meme, or Emerson Adriano Catarina is now considered to be the birth giving father of what could be the most famous pencil-art of modern day.



More of his work can be found at

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dr. Munchausen permalink
    September 26, 2011 12:05 pm

    I like how Meme can express such complex emotion and grasp it, so to speak, in these easy, childish like compositions. This reminds me of the work of early van Vincent van Gogh or the jugendstil movements, in which a cultural protest is made by such easy measures.

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