Born in Salvador, Bahia, in 1940 - a self-made man.
Left Bahia in 1948, when his parents decided to start a new life in Rio de Janeiro. Influenced by his mother, familiar with painting since her youth, he began his first brush strokes in 1957, at the age of 17. In Copacabana, he had the chance to meet and
enjoy the company of painters, some of whom eventually became famous. They gathered in the bars along the beach in Sá Ferreira Street neighbourhood, where the young J. Araujo lived. There he made acquaintance with Jorge Beltrão, for him the first Brazilian marchand, who, delighted by J. Araujo's naive art, invited him to make an exhibition at Montmatre Jorge, a gallery he owned. That was J. Araujo's first one-man exhibition. From then on, he appeared in other galleries such as Petite Galérie, Bonino, Europa, Barchensky Jean Jacques, H. Stern, Amsterdam Sauer, among others, in Brazil and also abroad, like Flughafen Galerie-Frankfurt, Agora Gallery New York, Morges Art Gallery/Switzerland, Gallérie Susi Brunner/Zürich, etc.
J. Araujo's works can be found in
international museums such as Anatole Jakowisky in Nice, France, and the Musée de Pully, Morges, Switzerland, Bratslava Museum, in Central Europe, and the Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil, Rua das Laranjeiras, 561, Rio de Janeiro.
His paintings are also present in commercial products of companies like Alladim Vacuum Bottles, USA/Brazil, Giftmugs in Florida, USA, ( www.giftmugs.com/sampler/Brazil/index.htm ) and Abitmark, also in the US, which make mugs and panels of tiles decorated by J.Araujo ( www.abitmark.com/jaraujo ), respectively. Table dinner sets, mousepads, notebooks large and small, naif posters and porcelain mugs, containing reproductions of J. Araujo's paintings, are sold in all TOC&STOK outlets as well as in tourist points in Rio. Rieter porcelains in São Paulo produces J. Araujo's mugs. Allied Domecq do Brasil illustrated the recent Domecq Spain Collection with a bullfighter created by J. Araujo both on the bottle and the container, to be followed by two more images - the Flamenco woman-dancer and Dom Quixote for limited production destined to collectors. These are some examples of his licensed products for sale on the market.
In books such as Brazilian Naif Art of Today and, the more recent, Brasil Naif, testimony and patrimony of humankind, J. Araujo's works are also present. These can be found and bought at MIAN. A painting of his is also a theme in the schoolbook Brasil Naif, addressed to 8-9 year-olds, who are invited to observe the picture and give it a title. UNICEF Greetings Cards, whose revenues are all directed to the help of the world's destitute children, have also spread J. Araujo's paintings throughout the globe.
At his study located in Vargem Pequena and mentioned in Riotur site and guidebooks, J. Araujo himself welcomes visitors who want to see his work applied in numbers of objects from canvas to pieces of furniture, mosaics, porcelain, glasses, and faianza.