Antonio Luiz Martins was born on 5 December 1963 in Botucatu (SP). He grew up under modest circumstances in the countryside in an extended family and, since his father was unable to work, everybody had to contribute to the livelihood of the family. At the age of 18 he started to work for the UNESP (university of the state of São Paulo) where he was the handyman for two years. As a result he had the opportunity to become an agricultural technician. He worked in this profession for another eight years. On the morning of 8 November 1991 his colleagues picked him up for work. Along the way the driver lost control of the vehicle. The car turned over several times and finally hit a lamppost. The result was tetraplegia of the C5 and C6 vertebrae, which meant that Antonio Luiz Martins remained completely paralysed. In 1997, during a therapy session, he discovered the artist in himself and started to paint holding the brush in his mouth. Despite initial difficulties and his uncertainty, he did not give up his newly discovered passion and was quickly able to make significant progress. Antonio Luiz Martins has a preference for landscapes and floral themes which he has been able to present at numerous exhibitions in his area.
Date of birth: 05.12.1963
Scholarship holder since: 01.09.2010