|It’s easy to find Júlio das Onças (his name means litterally “Julio of the jaguars”). Just look for the life-size sculpture of a jaguar by the Itatiaia Lake in Campo Grande. Júlio Cesar Nunes Rondão and Joana de Lourdes Avalhaes Marçal, his wife, make a living from sculpting these animals. Differences that might seem subtle become clear when we compare their work to the many leopards on offer around town. The leopards made by Júlio and Joana seem to really move, yawn or jump. The movement of the large cats is extremely realistic and the painting rich in details.
Júlio says he has enjoyed sculpting since he was a child. Aged 5, he used to make animals out of plasticine. He has had many jobs but since 1990 lives exclusively from his art. An excellent observer, he is able to make three-dimensional models from drawings or photographs, not just of animals, but also of other regional characters. His perception of proportion is impressive. “I’ve learned by looking. I never really studied, but always enjoyed making my things.”