About the Artist:
Born October 2, 1928, França (pronounced FRON-suh) grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and from an early age he showed talent as an artist, as well as exceptional prowess as a competitive swimmer. At 14 he won first prize at the annual Spring Salon Art Competition. At 15, he qualified for the Brazilian Olympic Swimming Team. With two amazing talents, França was unsure what he should do with his life. Fate stepped in, and the Olympic Games were canceled the year França was to compete due to the outbreak of World War II. At that point, he decided to devote his life to art. He held his first one-man show at the age of 18. Following what he would later say was the best advice anyone ever gave him, França came to the U.S, to accept a scholarship in Utah. A year later, he moved to Hollywood and began doing movie illustration for Walt Disney. His projects included Lady and the Tramp and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He moonlighted as a swimmer when movie parts were available. França painted many subjects, but he is best known for his esoteric images of Native American women. França's art enters the world of fantasy and dreams, where the spiritual meets the sensual. His works, with their floating imagery and airy, muted colors, evoke an aura of mystery. França said he always painted his subjects, which primarily were women, either in profile, looking toward the edge of the painting, or looking over her shoulder, "so that anyone could walk into it." Joan Lee, director of marketing at Hadley House, said that Ozz saw the spirituality and quiet dignity of Native American men and women. "there's a romance surrounding Native Americans that people appreciate seeing," said Lee. Lee said that França¹s beautiful prints, periodically released by Hadley House "always sell well and continue to attract a growing body of collectors. . ." After creating a spectacular body of art, Ozz França died in 1991.