José Luiz da Rocha, also known as Darocha, da Rocha, Luis Darocha, Z.L. Darocha, Louis Darocha or Paris Couto, was born on December 2, 1945, in Oliveira de Azeméis.
In Portugal, he studied painting at the Fine Arts Academies of Lisbon and Porto and at the Plastic Arts Circle in Coimbra, in 1967 he left for London. From London, Darocha left for France in the late 1960s, where he gained a doctorate in pathological anthropology and did an internship in a psychiatric hospital. He passed through several cities before settling in Paris. Between 1975 and 1996 he taught at the Fine Arts Schools of Metz, Dijon, Limoges, Bourges and Reims.
Since 1965 he has participated in dozens of group and solo exhibitions in various countries such as Portugal, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Senegal, Argentina among others.
Known for his deliberately multifaceted activity, the artist has works in the field of painting, printmaking, performance, sculpture, installations, video, drawing, illustration, etc.
Darocha, stands out in his participation in the group exhibitions “Alternativa Zero” at the invitation of the artist Ernesto de Sousa and in the pioneering Art Video exhibition “Confrontation” at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris. In 2014, the painter was awarded the Oliveira de Azeméis municipality’s Gold Medal for his “invaluable contribution” to the promotion of the municipality.
His last exhibition, entitled “Ripples of Style”, was held in June 2016 at the Ovar Museum and presented a sample of works produced during the more than 50 years of his career.
He passed away in a Paris hospital on the evening of 11 September 2016.