Despite her congenital defect on the right arm, Malfatti was backed by her mother to follow her artistic inclination since her early age. She studied in Berlin and Paris. In 1915 she studied at the Independent School of Art in New York, with Homer Boss’ encouragement. Back in Brazil she exhibited her work from engraving to painting, to sculpture. Her style condensed the principles behind Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Futurism, causing great reactions within the Brazilian art community. She collaborated with artists such as Di Cavalcanti, Oswald de Andrade, Mario De Andrade, contributing to the modern art publication he edited, Klaxon. After a five year scholarship in Paris, she reached the apex of her success and during the 1930s her work was exhibited in all South American capitals.