Art: The Year of Manabu Mabe

A year ago short, lank-haired Manabu Mabe was a familiar but furtive peddler on the streets of Brazil's metropolitan (pop. 3,650,000) Sao Paulo. His wares: his own hand-painted ties, priced from 85^ to $1.15. "It was embarrassing and illegal," Mabe confesses. "I had no peddler's license, but they sold fast." Only at night did Manabu Mabe indulge his private obsession, squandering his money on oil and canvases, sitting up, often until dawn, to paint large, calligraphic abstractions. Suddenly this year the whirlwind of artistic success sucked 35-year-old Manabu Mabe into its embrace, tossed...

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