16″ x 40″ on Masonite, signed Ozz Franca. Buyer pays for shipping.
Born October 2, 1928, França (pronounced FRON-suh) grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and from an early age showed talent as an artist, as well as exceptional prowess as a competitive swimmer. At 14 he won first prize at the annual Spring Salon Art Competition. At 15, he qualified for the Brazilian Olympic Swimming Team. With two amazing talents, França was unsure what he should do with his life. Fate stepped in, and the Olympic Games were canceled the year França was to compete due to the outbreak of World War II. At that point, he decided to devote his life to art.
He held his first one-man show at the age of 18. Following what he would later say was the best advice anyone ever gave him, França came to the U.S, to accept a scholarship in Utah. A year later, he moved to Hollywood and began doing movie illustration for Walt Disney. His projects included Lady and the Tramp and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He moonlighted as a swimmer when movie parts were available.
França painted many subjects, but he is best known for his esoteric images of Native American women. França’s art enters the world of fantasy and dreams, where the spiritual meets the sensual. His works, with their floating imagery and airy, muted colors, evoke an aura of mystery. França said he always painted his subjects, which primarily were women, either in profile, looking toward the edge of the painting, or looking over her shoulder, “so that anyone could walk into it.”
Joan Lee, print marketing professional, said that Ozz saw the spirituality and quiet dignity of Native American men and women. “there’s a romance surrounding Native Americans that people appreciate seeing,” said Lee.
. .” After creating a spectacular body of art, Ozz França died in 1991.
These paintings were created Mid-Century for the Donald Art Company at the time of the “Big Eye” craze.
Submitted by Gae Hirsch, Professional art instructor and appraiser. She wrote: “I was recently in a position to do some research on this artist, and found all or part of the following bio on several different sites, both commercial and informational.
Angela Howell, “Ozz França: A Mystical Visionary”, Remembering the Legends by Angela Howell. Collector’s Mart, June 1993
He is represented in the following private collections:
Lyndon B. Johnson
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Mm. Chiang Kai Shek
Edward R. Roybal
Mrs. Robert Kennedy
Submitted by Norman Stephens