José Antônio Cunha was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in 1948.
He started his studies at 18 years old at the open course of Bahia Fine Arts School. Cunha is a visual artist, graphic designer, scenographer and a costume designer.
He took part in important visual art biennials and collective and individual exhibitions, such as the event “The Refugee Project” at the African Art Museum in New York, 1997, the International Design Biennial in Saint-Étienne, France, and also the exhibition “Design Brasileiro – Fronteiras 2009” at São Paulo Modern Art Museum, Brazil; and the solo exhibition “Uanga: J. Cunha” at Bahia Modern Art Museum.
His work is characterized for diving into the imaginary of the afro-indigenous and popular northeast Brazilian cultures, through researches, assimilations and transformation in a universe of his own, mythic and magical, symbolic and intuitive.
Author of numerous brands and logotypes, illustrations for books and album covers, prints, concert settings and events, J. Cunhas still has his name vinculated definitely to the carnaval, for having created and signed the visual and aesthetic conception of the bloco Ylê-Ayê for over 25 years, beyond his instigating thematic decorations for the Salvador street carnaval.