Manuel Graziano Cardoso was born in Brazil’s poor northeastern state of Ceara in 1923 and died there in 2014. He grew up in extreme poverty and never went to school. After various other jobs he made a subsistence living as a self-taught carver of wooden farm tools and agricultural implements.
Around 1985, Graziano started sculpting large wooden pieces depicting mystical and folkloric characters, fantasy animals and biblical scenes. Graziano worked every day into his '80's. He did it “for the joy of it”. Graziano’s works are widely collected in Brazil and are included in several important museum collections and featured in various art publications and exhibition catalogs.
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