Brazil, 1939/1943 – 2015
Raimundo Camilo’s date of birth raises some doubts. Some sources indicate 1939, while others refer to 1943. What we know for certain is that he was born into a poor and large family in the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil. Due to his family’s economic difficulties, he emigrated to Rio de Janeiro in 1956 with his older brothers, but soon lost contact with them. He held down several routine jobs in the city, until he was hospitalised in a psychiatric institution in 1961 after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. He then began to draw spontaneously, using all available means, including paper bags, cigarette papers and administrative forms. He drew meticulous combinations of circles, which he later painted with natural paints that he produced from materials such as coffee. The end result is the “bank notes” that he distributed to reward the kindness of the institution’s workers, and also offered to other patients. He spent fifty years in psychiatric institutions in Rio de Janeiro, and finally returned to Ceará as an old man. His work was presented at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in 2005 and is included within various private and public collections.