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Francis Newton Souza

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Born in Saligao, Goa in the year 1924, Francis Newton Souza was notorious for being a rebel from a young age. This rebellious spirit caused him to join the communist party which he soon rejected. Souza later moved to New York to pursue his career as an artist, he was also responsible for being the founding member and a spokesperson of the Progressive Artists’ Group which he abandoned to further his career as an artist in Europe

His artistic stylization was predominantly centred by the idea of normalizing the ugly and the bizarre, he chose to not add grandiosity. Heavily influenced by European Modernism, he was well regarded for reinterpreting the human form, his most prominent works have been in particular that of human heads.

Just as Souza’s heads become symbolic of the fragmented human subjectivity, the nudes portray the exaggerated female form with the characteristic ugliness and coarseness that is closer to life. Nudes, landscapes and portraits – he painted in every style and every medium, even inventing ‘chemical alterations’ – a method of drawing with the use of chemical solvent on a printed page without destroying the glossy surface.

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