Harmony in Motion: Juarez Machado’s Sensuous Tango and Shunga-inspired Homage

The octogenarian Brazilian maestro, Juarez Machado, born in Joyneville on March 16, 1941, reflects upon a prolific career spanning numerous artistic roles – from the strokes of a painter to the finesse of a sculptor.

Intriguingly, when the renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) embarked on a visit to his admirer, the art critic Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896), in January 1887, his anticipation was palpable. Eager to witness the exotic art treasures, Rodin delved into Machado’s world, discovering a polymath – an illustrator, cartoonist, mime, writer, photographer, and even an actor.


Within Machado’s canvases, a vibrant tapestry unfolds. His paintings, marked by a masterful interplay of color and a touch of humor, come alive with scenes of sensual tango dancers. These figures, with their bodies gracefully entwined, inhabit the sultry ambiance of nightclubs, baths, or the romantic allure of Venetian settings. Machado’s art transcends conventional boundaries, offering a mesmerizing journey through the realms of passion, movement, and the allure of exotic locales.

Fig.1. ‘Picnic in the Forest of Gustav Klimt



‘ All art is eгotіс ‘ is the famous opening sentence from Ornament and Crime by the architect Adolf Loos. In this critical article Loos wanted to stigmatize the “eгotіс рoɩɩᴜtіoп” of which he.

Artistic рoteпtіаɩ

Machado’s artistic journey commenced at the School of Art in the city of Curitiba, Paraná, culminating in his inaugural solo exhibition in 1964. Propelled by his burgeoning artistic potential, he made a pivotal move to Rio de Janeiro in 1966, marking the genesis of his second triumphant exhibition.

Over the subsequent two decades spent in Rio, Machado etched his identity as a cartoonist and left an indelible mark with his contributions to music videos for Brazil’s premier broadcast television network, Globo TV. While flourishing in these diverse roles, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Machado wholeheartedly embraced painting, unveiling a new chapter in his artistic odyssey.

The 1970s heralded not only a shift in focus but also international acclaim. In 1978, Machado embarked on a transformative journey, traversing the artistic landscapes of New York, London, and Paris. It was in the City of Lights that he established his own studio in 1986, solidifying his presence as a globally recognized artist. Machado’s narrative unfolds as a tapestry woven with diverse artistic threads, each chapter contributing to the rich and dynamic canvas of his career.



Fig.2. Color palette in the film Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) (Source: @colorpalette.cinema)

Five Oscars

Machado’s artistic influence extended beyond the canvas, making an indelible mark on the world of cinema. Renowned French film director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, celebrated for his imaginative use of color, drew inspiration directly from Machado’s vibrant palette. This influence is notably evident in Jeunet’s award-winning film “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” (2001), where the director artfully incorporated Machado’s signature hues of green, yellow, and red (Fig. 2).

The visual spectacle of “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” captivated audiences and critics alike, earning the film five Oscar nominations in 2002. Machado’s impact on the cinematic realm underscores the transcendent nature of his art, seamlessly translating from the canvas to the silver screen and leaving an enduring legacy in the realm of visual storytelling.


I noticed that besides Gustav Klimt (Fig.1), Machado is also clearly intrigued by the sensuality of shunga art as evident in the first seven images below.

















Fig.8. ‘Oriental Bath






























Fig.18. ‘Clandestine Love‘ (1992)



Fig.19. ‘Horizontal Bath

Japenese Women bathing While the Japanese people of the 19th Century bathed frequently, most did not have baths in their own homes and instead used public bathhouses ( sento ) , where everyone was exposed. By going.
























Fig.27. ‘Un Parfum Qui Habille, óleo sobre tela‘ (2008)



Fig.28. ‘The Last Tango (?)



Fig.29. ‘Libertines



Fig.30. ‘Libertines‘ (Honesterotica



In the world of eгotіс art there aren’t that ɱaпy inspiring online resources. One of the гагe exceptions is honesterotica. This site that is solely dedicated to the art of the finest eгotіс illustrators of past)


Fig.31, ‘Libertines‘ (Honesterotica)