Brazilian Art Gems

In this week’s blog, we’re delving into some art gems of Brazil.

Brazil is home to some of the most diverse and well-known art in the world; they have an amazing collection of art pieces and architectural wonders across the country.

The art scene in Brazil is mainly centred around the municipality of São Paulo, which is well-known for its art museums scattered throughout. On this post, we’d like to share some of our favourite must-see art pieces with you, Fazendeiros.

 

Oscar Neimeyer

One of the most prominent names in the Brazilian art scene has to be Oscar Niemeyer. Oscar was a Brazilian architect and is considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture due to his unique approach; he created some world-famous modernist gems.

The Museu Oscar Niemeyer, designed by the great artist himself, is a beautiful teardrop-shaped structure delicately balanced atop a 60-foot, bright yellow pillar. Nicknamed ‘The Museum of the Eye’, this museum in Curitiba, Brazil, is home to a lot of Oscar’s own works.

The architect was 95 years old when the elegant structure was completed in 2002.

Museu Oscar Niemeyer

The streamlined museum (Image credit – Felipe Vieira)

Although The Museum of the Eye is Oscar’s most famous creation, many of his other designs are scattered throughout Brazil; he was the most important architectural figure of the country.

However, Oscar’s famous designs aren’t just confined to architecture. He designed a whole range of furniture, ranging from chairs to tables to desks. One of his most notable furniture designs is his ‘Rio’ Chaise Lounge chair, which features a uniquely curved, simplistic design.

Niemeyer's Rio chair

Niemeyer’s Rio chair (Image credit – 1stdibs)

Originally designed in 1978, the design took inspiration from ‘the mountains and the sensual women’s curves’ found in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro.

Pixação

Take a trip to Brazil’s urban centre, São Paulo, and one of the first things you’ll notice is the staggering amount of graffiti on the majority of the buildings. Except, this isn’t graffiti; its Pixação. Pixação has its own unique style; thick black letters consisting of straight lines and sharp edges that give an overall jagged look.

Pixação on a Building

Pixação above the streets (Image credit – Pablo Lopez Luz)

Pixadores‘ is the nickname for practitioners of this style. They take inspiration from British and American heavy metal and the artwork and fonts that metal bands often use within their album covers. These reflect its rebellious background, as the message behind Pixação was originally very opposing to Brazil’s military government, with phrases such as ‘down with the dictatorship’ being commonplace.

A Wall of Pixação

Credit – Vroom & Varossieau

This style first emerged in São Paulo in the 1980s, during the period of time where the country was starting to transition to become a democracy. Pixação gave individuals a chance to rebel in the form of art.

 

Aleijadinho

If you’re one for a more traditional style, then you might be interested in Aleijadinho, Fazendeiros.

Aleijadinho was a Brazil-born sculptor from the 1700s; he was Brazil’s most celebrated Baroque artist of his time. ‘Aleijadinho’, meaning ‘little cripple’ in Portuguese, was his alias as he suffered from a degenerative disease that eventually led to him being unable to use his hands. This didn’t stop him, however, as he carried on with his artistry by strapping tools to his arms.

A portrait of Aleijadinho

A portrait of Aleijadinho (Image credit – Site Obras de Arte)

His most notable artistic gems have to be the Twelve Prophets, a set of sculptures that he carved between 1800 and 1805. These sculptures adorn the exterior of the Santuário do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos church.

The Twelve Prophets

Aleijadinho’s gems: The Twelve Prophets (Image credit – Sagarana)

Each sculpture represents a prophet from the Hebrew Bible, and Aleijadinho and his team painstakingly carved each by hand at his workshop.

What do you think about these artists and their art? Do you have any other Brazilian masterpieces to recommend to us? We’d love to hear from you, Fazendeiros.