Tropical Modern Metamorphosis

June 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

Brazil is somewhere I have wanted to go for a long time. But this week, tropicana has been trailing me rather than the reverse – in various guises, all beautiful and inspiring.

Featuring at the 2009 Cannes film festival, Heitor Dahlia’s ‘A Deriva‘, set in 80s Brazil was a whispered find and a surefire hit in this household. The story is one of family metamorphosis that is superbly acted with Vincent Cassel and Laura Neiva the leading lights. But the real deal is the alluring and visually dreamy cinematography. Muted soft tones and faded tropical landscapes dotted with striking modernist architecture setting the background for unravelling and redefined relationships. Sounds pretentious? Well, the film its no doubt an easy target for the same kind of criticism levelled at A Single Man – style over substance. But a marriage of style and substance? Sounds dreamy.

Brazilian composer Antonio Pinto’s film score is another treasure gratefully uncovered. Ausencia Praia is the main theme tune ‘knitted’ into the story and as absorbing and captivating as the film itself. There is an interview with Pinto, who also scored City of God with his partner Ed Cortes at The Creator’s Project and you can listen to the composition for yourself here.

No suprise then that this FAI armchair on 1st DIBS caught my eye or more truthfully my heart. Crafted from Jacaranda brazilian rosewood, it blends variagated deep hues with browny red. Although Jacaranda is now an endangered wood under threat of extinction and new products banned from export, antique pieces such as this, although rare to find in Europe, can be tracked down. Pounce as soon as you find one….it won’t be around for long and you won’t regret it.

Yorkshire based (!) Brazilia Interiors specialises in re-editioning classic furniture designed by tropical modernists such as Sergio Rodriguez, Carlos Motta and architect Oscar Niemeyer – finding brazilian modernist furniture in Europe is not a simple task! I particularly liked this 50s Dinamarquesa sucupira wood armchair by Jorge Zalszupin although I should add here that anything to do with manufacturing from tropical hardwoods makes me shiver, but Brasilia has a watertight policy on recycling and only uses FSC certified wood – a key indicator to look for if you want to purchase ethically.

If this has all really captured your imagination and you want to read more, go to the Etel Interiors ‘XYLOTHEQUE’ – a succinct write up of the characteristics of FSC certified brasilian wood used in their expensive but inspiring catalogue.

Signing off with the ray of sunshine that is Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes and her ‘Coisa Lina’ {meaning ‘beautiful thing’}. Stephen Friedman Gallery is home to her art in London and where you can read more about her geometric and kaleidoscopic creations.

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§ 2 Responses to Tropical Modern Metamorphosis

  • Steve Stills says:

    Always love your posts Nika. I store them up unread and when I eventually get round to reading them I spend yonks following links and lusting after ace furniture, cool places and great films / music etc.

    Nice work x

    • polishnika says:

      Thanks! Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. Back on track now after a few crazy month adjusting to news of a December baby! I promise not to blog about kid stuff unless its supercool…

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