Palm Beach County is known for its beauty. Glorious sunrises and sunsets in hues of pink, red, blue, and yellow paint the horizon. Majestic mansions—from eras long past—tower over simple, newer bungalows perched across the intracoastal. Mizner, and Spanish-inspired, buildings cohabit peacefully next to gleaming modern commercial structures. Culture, cuisine, and all the nest things that money can buy collide to create a fantasy world inhabited by residents and guests. All of whom come to stay, and play, for as long as the dream lasts.
Less well known, but truly as beautiful and eclectic, is the uniquely South Florida alternative universe; the one created by Fernando de Jesus Oliveira, a/k/a Ferjo. Ferjo, who is deemed to be one of the premiere artists of our time, is heralded for his compositions that combine the old and new masters in a magical bounty of color, surrealism, fantasy, mysticism, and splendor.
The “Mayor” of Ferjo world is Jack Rosen. For over 20 years, he and his family have owned and operated CJR Fine Arts. They serve as the exclusive worldwide agent and publisher for Ferjo. Within the confines of their 4,000-square-foot showroom they display Ferjo books, limited edition reprints, and original works not available elsewhere. The two joined forces ten years ago following the expiration of a contract with another party. Ferjo, who was in high-demand, trusted Rosen and the mutual respect both shared for each other made the pairing seem organic. As a result, this long-standing bond has formed a chemistry both men simply describe as “magical”.
Born in Bahia, Brazil in 1946 Ferjo studied at the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1974-1979. While there he concentrated on landscape and portraiture before transitioning into painting Cubist style landscapes. It was in 1978-1979, while still at the Academy, that Ferjo segued into realist portraiture. This period is best exemplified by a mock group portrait of the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy. In this he posed his subjects in positions reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”. In 1979 he was awarded the prestigious Cresson Scholarship at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and garnered the New York Council for the Arts Award for Excellence in portraiture.
His command of realist painting gained him a quick reputation among critics, gal- lery owners, and collectors. Not one to stay stagnant, his natural artistry led him to explore a range of styles running the gamut from Realism to Surrealism. Ferjo’s art is a mental and sensual mix of the everyday with the extraordinary, the plain with the fantastic. Most of Ferjo’s paintings take place within an abandoned interior, a “room with a view” out of a large window, made up of puffy, transcendent clouds and nature at the extremes of either sunrise or sunset.
Ferjo works also display a disregard for the laws of perspective, a tendency to manipulate time and space, and an affinity for tokens which adds a unique and personal dimension to each work. Images of pencils, bubbles, sh, strawberries, and broken eggshells float throughout his work. The surrealist worlds he creates pay homage to Bosch, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Dali, Monet, Manet, Matisse, Miro, Modigliani, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mucha, and Chagall all while leaving the viewer with a sense of having fallen into another dimension.
For Ferjo his motivation “is to bring life and beauty to everyone he can through his art”. He says, “The works of the Master art- ists who came before me enrich my life so much that I am compelled to share it with everyone. That is why I incorporate their work into my art. Of course, I put my own personality into it to create a unique work of art for all to love”. Rosen says “Ferjo is not only the undisputed master of perspective he is one of the most dynamic and interesting artists on the world stage. His surreal and transcendental style captivates the imagination like none other”.
Ferjo, who still actively paints, resides in both Philadelphia and Miami. On February 4, 2018 CJR Fine Arts hosted an event clos- ing a week-long exhibition that included the debut of numerous new, unseen Ferjo pieces. The celebration included food and wine and a meet-and-greet with the artist. Ferjo spent hours mingling with the guests while autographing books and 2018 calendars. He posed for photographs, en- gaged in conversation, and formerly dedicated works purchased during the exhibition and gathering.
Upcoming artist events at the gallery will include a March evening with the Brazilian born painter Valter Morais. Morais is internationally revered for his style which is best described as a blend of Picasso and Pop Art. This will be followed by an evening with the “Florida Highwaymen” on Friday, April 6th and Saturday, April 7th. The Florida Highwaymen was comprised of a group of twenty-six African American artists active from the 1950’s through the 1980’s who used vivid and bright colors to display the beautiful untouched Florida landscape. At this presentation, there will be six Highwaymen in attendance including the oldest living Highwaymen Roy McLendon as well as Isaac Knight and 2nd generation Highwaymen A. J. Brown.
CJR Fine arts also deal in works by Chagall, Dali, Miro, Leroy Neiman, Peter Max, Norman Rockwell, Alex Antanenka, Alex Zwarenstein, Tarkay, Romero Britto, Fanch Ledan, Luidmila Kondakova, Pino, Gary Benfield, and many others. They offer wholesale framing to the public, a one hundred percent lifetime exchange (trade in) policy for all pieces, and o er consulting services.
CJR Fine Arts is located at 514 State Road 7 just north of Southern Boulevard on the Wellington-Royal Palm Beach border. They are open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., and on Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. To learn more about Ferjo, or for all of your fine art needs, call 561-333- 9472 or log on to www.cjrfinearts.com.