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Antonio Peticov

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Antonio Peticov
Paletó Branco.jpg Paletó Branco.jpg
Antonio Peticov in 2015
Born(1946-07-02)2 July 1946
Assis, São Paulo, Brazil
🏳️ NationalityBrazilian
💼 Occupation
🌐 Websitehttp://www.peticolors.com

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Antonio Peticov (born July 2, 1946) is a Brazilian painter, designer, sculptor, and engraver.[1][2]

Self-taught,[3][4] his approach is based on systematic personal research in the history of art and its integration into avant-garde artistic movements in the second half of the 60s. He also specialized in sacred geometry and the golden ratio, giving his work a strong mathematical character.[1]

In 1967, together with artists Aldir Mendes de Souza and Gilberto Salvador, he founded the group Vanguarda Jovem no Arena, participating in several exhibitions.[5] During the same period, he began his involvement with the Tropicália movement.[2]

He was president of the cooperative of Visual Artists of Brazil between 2003 and 2007,[6] and is a member of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. He founded and directed the Núcleo de Arte Contemporânea (NAC) in São Paulo, between 1999 and 2006. In 2016, at the age of 70, he opened the Antonio Peticov Institute of Art and Culture.[7]


Childhood and youth[edit]

A Brazilian of Bulgarian descent, Peticov's grandparents immigrated to Brazil with tickets paid for by the Brazilian government, who, after abolishing slavery, needed to replace the labor force. Peticov was born in the city of Assis, São Paulo, close to the border of Paraná. In 1960, while his family was living in Rio de Janeiro, Peticov became interested in pursuing art after meeting Mauro Salles Júnior, the art director of the Batista publishing house.[8]

Adult life[edit]

In the late 60s, influenced by the Beat Generation, Peticov saw himself as a hippie.[9] In 1969, he went to the Midem Festival in Cannes with the band Os Mutantes, whom he helped found[2] while managing the Six Sided Rockers.[10] Peticov visited London where he was an assistant to his friend and artist Hélio Oiticica in the assembly of his exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.[2]

In 1970, at the age of 23, he was arrested for the dissemination of lysergic acid (LSD) in Brazil. Among those working on the case was investigator and torturer Angelino "Russinho" Moliterno, who was part of Brazil's so-called "death squads".[11] According to Vice, despite being tortured and taken to Carandiru Penitentiary, Peticov was subsequently cleared in what was the first judicial process of this matter in Brazil. During the 70 days he was at Carandiru, he continued to draw and paint, becoming friendly with a fellow prisoner, Giuseppe Baccaro, an Italian intellectual and art merchant, who was arrested for possession of a joint.[9]

He was interviewed by António Abujamra in 2016 on the TV Cultura program Provocações and stated: "In my hand there appeared a large amount of lysergic acid, which was perhaps the most important invention of the 20th century, because it was the opportunity to have in my hand, in my pocket, or in my wallet the ticket for the most important trip that a person can have in his life, the trip to his interior. I felt obliged to disclose that."[12]

The severity of the prison experience and the strong repression of Brazil's military dictatorship, together with his new marriage to his first wife Maria Luiza, motivated Peticov to leave for exile in London, at the age of 24. In 1985 he moved again, this time to New York City, where he lived until 1999. While in New York, he designed the poster for the Javits Center inauguration,[13] and created several of his best known works. He later married Elizabeth dos Santos Peixoto, with whom he had son, Pedro Antonio, born in Brazil in 1990.[2] He traveled back and forth between the United States and Brazil, returning to Brazil permanently in 2000 and settling in Brooklin.

In 2017, Peticov began his autobiography. In 2020, he participated in a Fundação Nacional de Artes (Funarte) festival, presenting "6 releituras de Antonio Peticov - Uma exposição guiada pelo artista", directed by his son Pedro Antonio.[14][15] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is active on livestreams about varied themes: usually art, mathematics, music, sacred geometry and curiosities.

Installations and productions[edit]

Peticov has a diversified production that follows varied tendencies of the international artistic avant-garde of the last decades. He has created environmental installations and murals in Italy, Switzerland, the United States, and Brazil. He has also produced audiovisual productions, among them:

Golden ratio and mathematics[edit]

Having moved to Milan in 1972, Peticov bought a copy of Aldo Montù's 1970 book Φ = 1.61803398875... Appunti ed annotazioni su Natura e Geometria - Progressione Aurea e forme pentagonali. Full of detailed illustrations and graphs, this book had a great influence on his work. He was also introduced to the Fibonacci Sequence, with whole numbers mirroring the irrational numbers derived from Φ.

In addition, the influence of Martin Gardner, through Peticov's participation in the biennial "Gathering for Gardner" conventions, further deepened the relationship of his work to numbers and geometry in general.

In this vein, Peticov has worked with aperiodic tiles; his 1990 project "Momento Antropofágico com Oswald de Andrade" – a work full of mathematical references – was installed in São Paulo's República metro station. A scholar of puzzles, he has a collection of mathematical objects, puzzles, aperiodic tiles (which he also designs), and paradoxical objects in the largest collection of its kind in Brazil.[3]

Posters, book and album covers[edit]

Peticov has created posters and book and album covers for varied events and artists, both in Brazil and abroad, including:

  • X National Congress of Education
  • "PrimaVera" - Festival in São Paulo (forbidden by the dictatorship 48 hours before its undertaking) (1969)
  • Renudo Pop Festival (1973)
  • Cover of the album "Visões" by Léo Gandelmann (1981)
  • Art Expo '86 - Inauguration of the Javis Convention Center (1986)
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos - 100th Birthday Poster (1986/1987)
  • 38th Barretos Cowboy Festival (1993)
  • "The Phoenix Symphony" - Saracura. Poster for the orchestra in NY (1993/1994)
  • Monark Travel Agency - Poster (1994)
  • Heineken Concerts - São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro (1995)
  • Sofia National Library - Poster for the Meeting of creative Bulgarians abroad (1996)
  • Rock in Rio and Coca-Cola (2001)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Antonio Peticov". Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural (in português). Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "O mestre das cores" (PDF). Domingo (in português). Rio de Janeiro: Jornal do Brasil. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Atelier Aberto... Encontro com Antonio Peticov | Secretaria Municipal do Verde e do Meio Ambiente | Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo". Cidade de São Paulo (in português). Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  4. Abreu, Augusto (2017-01-04). "Antonio Peticov". Portal São Francisco (in português). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  5. "Jornal do Brasil (RJ) - 27 dezembro 1967 - DocReader Web" (in português) (Jornal do Brasil - Rio de Janeiro). 27 December 1967. p. 2.
  6. "COOPERATIVA DE ARTISTAS DO BRASIL — Fórum Permanente". Fórum Permanente (in português). Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  7. "Peticov faz 70 anos e festeja com instituto - Geral - Estadão". Estadão (in português).
  8. D'Ambrosio, Oscar. "Oscar D'Ambrosio: Ateliês: Antonio Peticov". oscardambrosio.com.br (in português). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Delmanto, Júlio (2020). História social do LSD no Brasil: Os primeiros usos medicinais e o começo da repressão (in português). Editora Elefante. ISBN 9786599014161. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. "Túlio & The Six Sided Rockers". Mutantes Live. 2014-08-23. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  11. "Quem foram os primeiros acusados por tráfico de LSD no Brasil". VICE (in português).
  12. Provocações - Antônio Abujamra interview with Antônio Peticov (in português). TV Cultural. June 5, 2016.
  13. Gottlieb, Martin (April 4, 1986). "Javits Center Bustles on Opening Day". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Funarte SP ConectArte 2020 Festival – Abertura da exposição virtual: Obras Clássicas Revisitadas". Funarte - Portal das Artes. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  15. 15.0 15.1 ConectArte 2020 Festival: Antônio Peticov apresenta ‘Obras clássicas revisitadas’ (in português). Funarte. December 12, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Antonio Peticov - Trabalhos e Histórico". Patricia Costa Gallery (in português).
  17. "Últimas semanas para conferir exposição de Peticov, no Espaço Cultural HU". Universidade de São Paulo Sala de Imprensa (in português).
  18. "20ª Bienal Internacional de São Paulo". Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural (in português). Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Roteiro de arte do Metrô São Paulo". www.metro.sp.gov.br. Retrieved 4 June 2021.

See also[edit]

  • List of Brazilian painters

External links[edit]

Others articles of the Topic biography : Boabis (Musician), Tarquini & Prevale, Farhan Haji Ali فرحان حاجي علي, Carlo Prevale, Marco Camisani Calzolari

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