Toto – Joao Vitoriano Batista Swaldo Gusmao
Born and raised along the shopping strip of Audian, the vast suburb that borders Kintal Boot and Santa Cruz in the city of Dili. Toto’s first experience of art came in 2002 when he joined the group of Sangal Bulak, at the time creating art in Kintal Boot. In 2003 Arte Moris established itself in Kintal Kiik and became momentarily united with Sangal Bulak. Within this group Toto trained in sculpture and welding, an art in which he teaches others to this day. His earliest inspiration was in Arte Moris’ roving classroom, which took to the streets of Colmera in central Dili, where the artists would sit on the road , drawing the faces of passersby. From these portraits much of Toto’s future inspiration stemmed. Within a year, the philosophies of Arte Moris and Sangal Bulak began to clash and the groups divided. Toto joined the newly formed Sangal Masin where he taught painting. One year later he flew to the island of Java where, for the next five years he trained. Firstly he found himself training in the art of Portraiture in the city of Yogyakarta. From there he headed to Semarang where he studied architecture. Continuing with the study of architecture he headed to Jakarta where he soon returned to the study of portraiture. Finally, in 2009, Toto returned to Timor where he formed a small arts collective in the Oecussi enclave. Here he trained artists in portraiture for a year. Since then he has returned to Arte Moris and has spent the last four years teaching portraiture, sculpture and illustration. Since Jakarta he has, as yet, not returned to architecture….