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Otávio Roth, born in 1952 in the city of São Paulo, currently enjoys worldwide recognition for his work with handmade paper and participatory art events.


His early interest was photography, followed by advertising, which he pursued by attending the ESPM course. Subsequently, he went to London to study graphic design at the Hornsey College of Art.

His proximity with Paul Pietch kindled his interest in engraving, particularly woodcut.


He lived and worked in Israel, Norway and the United States. He also received several awards for children's literature, as both writer and illustrator, and partnered with writer Ruth Rocha in several publications.

His illustrations for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations were considered daring at the time, because, unlike many other artists who based their work on one or other of the articles from that document, Otávio decided to engrave on wood the full thirty articles.


His work was greatly praised by the UN because, by creating symbolic drawings to illustrate the articles, Otávio avoided ideological bias and valued the humanist aspect of the Declaration.

All thirty articles are in permanent exhibition at the UN offices in Geneva, Vienna and New York.

In Brazil, he pioneered the dissemination of paper craft by means of courses, workshops, publications and exhibitions. His work on paper recycling and nature elements contributed to the development of environmental awareness.


He died on August 30, 1993.

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