Francisco José de Souto Leite started drawing at a young age, working on his own underground comics magazine, Marginal Zine. From the pages to the walls, he invented himself another persona, Derby Blue, to cover in paint his native city, Joao Pessoa in Brazil. The street artist and illustrator soon made a name in the music and art communities, creating album covers, flyers and posters for gigs and tattoo conventions. He started professional illustration and moved to Florence, in Italy, to continue his discovery of aesthetic. Influenced by Japanese art (from manga to shunga), he shortened his name again, this time in Shiko. His two alter ego are still co-existing, discussing with each other and allowing him to go further. He captures the life of the Southern cities with fantastic sketches and watercolors in his living sketchbooks, visible in his Flickr account. But what fascinates art connoisseurs is his celebration of women’s body and their freedom. Women, often Latin, are shown in all their splendor, sensual, fearless and provocant. Punk girls, lesbians, female thugs, prostitutes or fantasy heroines, they all laugh out loud, and their proud attitude is making the beholder smile with them. The vivid colors and the intricate scenes are also capturing the eyes, leading to funny or naughty discoveries. Both Shiko and Derby Blue are celebrating the South’s lifestyle, sexuality, art and indeed, life itself.

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