Ronaldo Rego is a multimedia artist from Rio de Janeiro. As a priest in the African-influenced religion of Umbanda, Rego chooses to base his art almost exclusively on themes from this faith. The chapter begins with an examination of some of the prints and sculptures he has produced for secular audiences. The chapter then explores how Rego identifies with Brazil’s black population, both ethnically and artistically, due to his choice of subject matter and position within the African religious universe. Rego focuses on a collective past and identity, which is common to modern black artistic production. Because Brazilian scholars do not apply the same racially-based line to Afro-Brazilian art as American academics, several curators have included Rego, a white artist, in their national and international exhibitions. This chapter reveals the complex relationship between religious expression and artistic liberty in conveying blackness.
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