Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
Luis gasparetto

Real Name: Luiz Antonio Gasparetto
Case: Unusual Phenomenon
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Date: 1962 to 2018


Details: Forty-six-year-old Brazilian artist Luiz Gasparetto claims to be a "spirit channeler," possessing amazing abilities that allow long deceased artists to create new works from beyond the grave. As he whips color across the page, he seems to be a man possessed. Indeed, if his astounding assertions are true, his every gesture is directed by the spirits of these long dead masters.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Goya, Michelangelo, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent Van Gogh – all gone now for decades or centuries. But believe it or not, Luiz says that his drawings and paintings are nothing less than their recent work channeled through him. Is he a gifted psychic, as he claims, or a flamboyant showman, as common sense would dictate?
Luiz grew up in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. The culture there is laced with mysticism, and many consider psychic experiences part of everyday life. Luiz’s family is no exception. His mother, Zíbia, has written thirteen books; she says the works were all channeled from the spirit world. One of his brothers channels pop musicians. Luiz was just a boy when he first began to believe that he, too, possessed psychic abilities.
At the age of thirteen, Luiz was overwhelmed by stress, sleeplessness, and trouble at school. Zíbia thought he needed counseling, and took him to see Madame Laise, one of the city’s best known clairvoyants. He says that, at first, he was embarrassed because it was his first time there. But then, as the session began, he started to feel his body shaking inside. He also felt energy inside him. Then, he felt something holding his throat. When he tried to control himself, the feelings got worse. He decided to "let it go."
Luiz recalls feeling pain and tingling in his arms. To Madame Laise, it was a sign he would be able to channel writing, much like Zíbia. But quite unexpectedly, he began to draw. He had found his calling. He says that over the next three decades, he channeled more than 20,000 paintings by some fifty artists. He says that he speaks to them both verbally and telepathically. He says that the head of the group of artists is Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. His claims have gone largely unchallenged in Brazil. Several doctors and researchers who have investigated him have stated that he is genuine. Thanks to Brazilian psychic and artist Elsie Dubugras, his reputation has begun to spread around the world.
Luiz founded and runs The Center of Spiritualistic Culture, which caters to poor and "disturbed" people in São Paulo. The money he makes from his art goes directly to the center. To help support himself, he works as a psychotherapist in his center. In January 1995, Unsolved Mysteries asked to film one of his channeling sessions. He says that when he is invited to do a presentation of his abilities, he has to ask the spirits if they want to come through him, because he cannot do it himself. If they say yes, he will accept the invitation. The show’s invitation was apparently accepted. He was filmed in New York City.
Luiz works with such intensity an assistant holds down the work. During the filmed session, he held his face in one arm, covering his eyes, while he drew on the canvas with his other arm. He used both pastel crayons and acrylic paints. He says that during his sessions, he feels a "sensation" when the artists come into him and use his arms. He says that he just "lets it go" and lets them draw. He claims that his arm is moved by the artist, not him.
During the frenetic session, Luiz completed six drawings and three paintings, most in less than five minutes. He moved easily between different artistic styles. He says that he tries not to control anything or put in any of his thoughts or ideas into the drawings. He says that people mistakenly believe that when the artists take over, he loses consciousness and they have complete control over him. Instead, he says what actually is happening is that they are "energetically influencing" him. So, he has learned to be "passive."
During the forty-five minutes the show was filming, Luiz says he channeled works by seven artists, among the greatest of all time. An impressive accomplishment, but is it proof that the great masters are hard at work in the afterlife? Comparisons between the real-life paintings and Luiz’s show there is some resemblance. But art experts in the United States are hardly convinced.
Art critic Peter Clothier says that the notion that any one of these famous artists (for example, Van Gogh, a man of extraordinary intensity and seriousness of purpose) would want to come back after death and produce "third, fourth, fifth rate imitations" of what they successfully did during their lives seems incredible. Art writer Hunter Drohojowska-Philp says that Luiz seems to be possessed by some force. However, she theorizes that the "force" is his own subconscious playing back images that he has seen in art history books.
Luiz says that the artists are coming through him because they want to show that there is life after death, and they want people to think about eternity. He says they want to help "the evolution of our conceptions of life." They want people to see life in a different way.
Is Luiz a window to the metaphysical side of art? Can there possibly be any substance to his stunning claims? No matter what one may believe, even a skeptic has to admit that he puts on a great show.
Extra Notes:

  • This case first aired on the March 24, 1995 episode.
  • Other "spirit channelers" featured on the show include Coral Polge and Pearl Curran.

Results: Unsolved - Sadly, on May 3, 2018, Luiz passed away from lung cancer at the age of sixty-eight. Zíbia passed away later that year.