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Saturday, March 14, 2015


Red Macaw, Naza                                      
Naza with her Blue Macaw.
If and when an artist today rises to become an internationally known entity, it goes without saying that he or she packs along a significant body of exceptional work. But, as literally thousands of professional artist today can attest, neither quantity nor quality alone are enough to attain international or even national acclaim. Other traits are critically important. Two of the most important and persistence--single-minded pursuit of a definite set of goals. The second is personality--friendly, outgoing, and forthright. These two traits come down to hard work and shameless self-promotion. The successful artist must work daily, pouring out as much studio time as their constitution (and family responsibilities) permit, while at the same time actively pursuing media coverage of all kinds to gain name recognition, style recognition, and critical recognition from whatever sources possible. Even the best technique and the most grueling work schedule won't suffice without this second factor. Moreover, it's the one endeavor in which most artists find themselves lacking. Some have been known to give up a promising career having come to hate this one aspect. Others love it; others such as the Brazilian artist, Maria Nazareth Maia Rufino McFarren, better known as Naza (short for Nazareth) seem to thrive on it.

Peaceful Woman, Naza--softly abstract.
Naza calls her style "abstract realism." At first glance, that sounds like a conflict of terms, and in the purist sense, it is. However, if you stretch the definition of each term a bit then the degrees of each overlap--not completely real (nothing really is) and not completely abstract (few things are). Her content is usually identifiable, yet as seen in her Peaceful Woman (above) and American Brazilian (below), there is the illusion of surface layer distortions that give the image an abstract quality. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but in any case it's distinctively Naza, and combined with her love of color and vaguely Brazilian content, the overall effect can be stunning.
American Brazilian, Naza

Stolen art, the unfortunate mark
 of a successful artist.
Naza was born in 1955, growing up in a northeastern costal area of Brazil, just south of the mouth of the Amazon in an area way too hot and humid for my taste. She started painting about 1979 while working in various service jobs to support herself and her daughter. A job working for the Bank of Brazil in Picos allowed her to travel about exhibiting in local art shows and accepting portrait commissions. Her early work, except for the portraits, is somewhat more abstract than her work today. During this time she met and married her husband, an American named Stuart McFarren. Their son was born while the couple lived in Panama. Then, a year later, they moved to Arlington Virginia about 1988. They've lived in various parts of the U.S. since, currently dividing their time between homes in San Francisco and Boca Raton, Florida, as well as a home in Brazil.
Zebra, Naza--wildlife, both human and animal.
Is that a self-portrait?
After several years of moving frequently and filling various positions at art instructor or teacher of Portuguese, Naza and her family settle in in Boca Raton, Florida where she opened an art gallery and became intimately involved it the wealthy social circles allowing her to paint portraits of celebrities such as Ivana Trump, Debbie Gibson, David Carradine and Dan Haggerty. (Keep in mind these were celebrities some twenty-five years ago.) Since then Naza and her paintings have been the subject of a book, O Figurativo Abstrato de Naza (Abstracted Realism by Naza), while also starting her own line of clothing based upon her paintings (bottom left and right). She has also been called upon to design magazine covers (left) and other print material. She's even had a painting stolen (above right). Since 2007 Naza has lived most of the year in Brazil where her clothes are manufactured. In 2013 she opened her first retail clothing outlet, Naza Art & Fashion store, in Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, PE, Brazil.

Fashionable art
Wearable art
Naza is living proof that the artist with talent can magnify their skills with an exceptional work ethic coupled with a knack for pursuing every possible opportunity to exploit them and expose them to those most likely to appreciate such things. As disagreeable as most artist may find such endeavors, there's a lot to be said for "shameless self-promotion."

Portrait of Ohio Astronaut, John Glenn, Naza
--Abstract Realism



  1. Great!!! thanks for the great exposure that you are giving to my art.

  2. Thanks, Naza, I'm glad you approve. I hope I got the details right. I don't usually write about living artists, but your work and your attitude struck me as something other artists should emulate. Thanks for your comment.

    1. I will do my best to help spread the news about your blog. I will start by posting a link on Naza For Life, a Facebook group.

  3. Thanks Naza, I hope the exposure here helps both of us.