Mário de Andrade (1893-1945)
It was Mário de Andrade who brought Candinho’s talent to public attention. In 1931, a new director took over the National School of Fine Arts, architect Lúcio Costa. His liberal spirit led him to open the doors of the Fine Arts Salon to new names on the art scene: modern painters, sculptors, and poets. The change was so dramatic that it became known as the Revolutionary Salon, and Manuel Bandeira became its coordinator. While visiting the exhibition, writer Mário de Andrade went into a small room and came across a portrait of Manuel Bandeira, modestly presented with no special prominence. He saw in the catalogue that it was a certain Candido Portinari, who he had never heard of. Naturally, a novice. Beside the portrait of Manuel Bandeira was another painting by the same artist, Guitar Player (1931), which caught the writer’s attention. Afterward, in a conversation about the exhibition, Bandeira said: "I really like this painter Candido Portinari, who did that impressive Guitar Player. Who is he?” That’s when a young man came up, short and with big, clear blue eyes. This event was the beginning of a close friendship between the two. Mário de Andrade was born in São Paulo in 1893. A teacher, critic, poet, story writer, novelist and musician, he entered the 1922 Modern Art Week at the Municipal Theater of São Paulo. He founded the Society for Ethnography and Folklore and also served in numerous government positions, among them as director of the São Paulo Municipal Department of Culture. Despite his many different roles, he always had time to help still unknown writers. Throughout his life he fought for art with his clear and frank writing style. Convinced that the Brazilian intelligentsia needed to catch up with the times, this modernist writer always maintained his greatest virtues: artistic consciousness and intellectual dignity. He died in 1945 in São Paulo.