Romero Britto Unveils Colorful ‘Thyroid’ at Department of Medicine Reception

With the pull of a black drape, internationally renowned artist Romero Britto unveiled his gratitude to the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a colorful tribute to a vital part of the human body. The painting called “Thyroid” was introduced at a reception September 16 at Britto’s newest gallery on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

The artist’s vision of the thyroid was meant to educate and inspire others about one of the most important aspects of health.

“The piece is a way to learn through art about a unique part of our body, which acts as a central port for all functions,” said Britto, who specializes in an art form called neo-pop cubism. “I think the more you have education and awareness about what’s going on with your body, and the various parts of your body, the more you are going to be able to live a healthy life.”

Britto hosted “The Art & Science of Medicine” reception for donors and members of the Department of Medicine. He was motivated by his longstanding friendship with Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Medicine.

“Our mission is defined by the discovery of new treatments and scholarly pursuit of knowledge in an open atmosphere, with the goal of training the next generation of leaders in medicine and providing outstanding and compassionate patient care,” said Weiss, who is also the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Distinguished Chair.

The reception highlighted the many similarities between artists and physicians, both of whom use their skills to help people and improve the world.

“The art of medicine is delivering information in a way that imparts hope and knowledge. Romero Britto’s work carries a message that gives hope and joy,” said Maria Abreu, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology, Martin H. Kalser Chair in Gastroenterology, and Director of the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Family Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic, one of the several renowned physicians from the department that guests were encouraged to mingle and speak with.

The other physicians highlighted included Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D., Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism and Deputy Director of Beta Cell Biology and Signal Transduction at the Diabetes Research Institute; Jeffrey J. Goldberger, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology; Mathias A. Salathe, M.D, professor of medicine, molecular and cellular pharmacology, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, and Vice Chair for Research; and Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Co-Director of the HIV/AIDS Institute at UM.

A 35×45 original acrylic on canvas, “Thyroid” is defined by its bold colors, sharp black lines, and geometric shapes. The piece depicts a woman, with her chin to navel exposed, and vibrant detailing of the anatomy.

“It is a healthy woman, and a symbol of vitality, and that is something we all strive for,” said Amy Forth, Gallery Manager at the Romero Britto Fine Art Gallery. “When you see the piece, your first thought is ‘I need to start taking care of myself.’ ”

The Brazilian-born Britto is a famed painter, serigrapher, and sculptor, whose career began in South Florida a number of years ago.

Self-taught at an early age, Britto painted on scraps of paper or cardboard or any medium he could find before coming into his own and traveling to Paris, where he was introduced to the works of Matisse and Picasso.

His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in more than 100 countries, and Britto has donated time, art, and resources to more than 250 organizations, including the University of Miami.

Britto also presented Weiss with an image of the two of them in his Wynwood studio, as a reflection of his gratitude and friendship.

A portion of all sales from the evening was donated to the Department of Medicine, which was founded soon after the medical school’s founding in 1952. With more than 300 full-time clinical and research faculty, it has evolved into the largest department in not only the medical school but the entire University.

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