Mauro Oliveira was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised on the outskirts under extreme poverty. He grew up with 6 siblings in poverty with no running water or electricity. After both of his parents died in their 30s, Oliveira was sent to live in a military state-run orphanage. When he was nine-years-old he developed a relationship with a woman who visited the orphanage looking to adopt. She adopted another child, but told him that if he stayed out of trouble and worked hard he would make it to the US one day. At 10-years-old he took advantage of the free tin piggy banks given by banks and encouraged other kids to paint them with him in order to sell at a weekend art fair in Sao Paulo. Thousands of these painted piggy banks were sold.
He made it to college and won a student exchange program contest sponsored by the Federal University of Uberlândia, Brazil. He studied Journalism and the Arts and immigrated to the US in 1990.
Oliveira’s artworks have been exhibited in many international cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Palm Springs, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
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