While we’re on the subject of doing something good, let’s turn our attention to Poketo’s Cancer Benefit and Art Auction going on this Friday. We’re always super behind their projects, but this one hits a cause that’s other than for profit. Forty L.A. artists from Shepard Fairey to Saelee Oh have donated pieces to be sold to caring and generous buyers interested in helping Poketo friend Justin Van Hoy help pay for his ongoing medical treatment after receiving a successful bone marrow transplant. No doubt those of you who are unemployed and thus out of health insurance (hell, I can’t even remember the last time I had health insurance myself) can understand how even a little bit of money can help. It’s a totally win-win situation"”you get a great piece of work for a good price, help someone else while doing it and even get to pig out on free food and drinks. The silent auction takes place at the Poketo Studio in L.A. this Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Does good karma exist? Time to test it out.
You’re getting the first look at Nike Sportswear in Brazil’s new pop-up store Canarinho in the Gallery of Rock in Sao Paulo and its accompanying Brazilian-produced line. Gallery of Rock is a multi-story behemoth of stores in the city’s decadent downtown dedicated to Brazilian alternative culture, from hip-hop to cosplay, so they couldn’t have picked a more appropriate place to launch the colorful boutique. Named after the pet name Brazilians gave to their national soccer team during the World Cup in which they wore yellow jerseys for the first time, the collection features local artists Don Torelly, Presto and Jurubis, whose takes are fun, animated visions on the classic Blazers and Dunk Lows, plus tees. Eduardo Saretta from Choque Cultural put together the creative team. See more photos after the jump, and if you gotta get your hands on these surely limited editions, hit up Maze in Sao Paulo.
Geometrical, precise and wonderfully intricate to such a degree that you can spend time completely wrapped up in only one section of them before moving on to a different part, Fernando Chamarelli’s paintings mishmash all manner of references to dizzying effect. Like Bruno 9li, he intertwines history and iconography"”religious, philosophic"”using Brazilian pop culture to carry the aesthetics of pre-Colombian indigenous art. The artist’s background spans to cartoons and portraits before developing a healthy interest in street art and tattooing, the latter of which likely explains his eye for color and edge. Simply put, this guy rocks. His show Viracocha just launched at Rojo’s space at Livraria Pop in Sao Paulo and will be there until June 20, but experience it vicariously through his inspiring photostream.
If you go bananas over Alessi’s newest launch in its whimsical OrienTales collection of kitchen doodads that we adore, Banana Family, we wouldn’t be surprised. The collabo between the Italian company’s Stefano Giovannoni and Takeda Rumiko with the National Palace Museum Taiwan monkeys around with animated primates dressed in bright uniforms, hanging out and disguising themselves as spice holders (pictured), napkin rings and corkscrews. I love the parrot sitting atop the monkey’s head in the Banana Babies place markers"”as if inviting pals over for dinner already isn’t fun enough. Design Boom has some better photos of the products, while the Alessi site shows them in 2-D; as you can see, they remarkably resemble the real thing.
Let’s go ahead and just say it: wallpaper and tiles are long dead. New ecological paint job—well, baby, you can get a little more creative than that. The way to go, if you want to really make a statement for guests and live in something conducive to green all the way, is investing in an Ekobe wall. Composed of 100% natural materials, the tiles by the Brazilian company are veggie matter. We’re not talking about banana peels or apple cores; this stuff gets more tropical and exotic, like the insides and outsides of coconut shells. The Membira line goes so far as to mix in rice peel (you can peel rice?). The surfaces are often presented as mosaics that have their own particular discoloration or irregularities in texture—all aspects that reflect their truly natural origins. Consumers can apply Ekoba products to pretty much any internal surface but are advised against making major pathways with the square pieces because it seems they’ll disintegrate with all that wear and tear. As you can see from the photo, surfaces made with Ekobe tiles lend themselves to stunning interiors and stand apart from anything else out there. I’d jump at a chance to attend a meeting in that room. The tiles are available at Nemo Tile in NYC.
I just came across a wonderful short new film by Brazilian director Cisma, the result of the latest commission from Adobe’s very inspiring Adobe Artists project. With the strict rule that everything must be produced using only Adobe products"”Creative Suite 4, in particular"”Le Sens Propre continues successfully in Cisma’s trademark surreal style. We watch a little girl in her room throw dishes into a tidy and unbroken stack, tie her shoes but accidentally knot up her thumbs instead and see bunnies turn into colorful, soft pebbles. It’s a bit Alice in Wonderland meets Candyland; totally charming to the end. Amazingly enough, no 3-D software was employed in the making of the film. According to an interview with Motiongraphics, Cisma wanted “to create strange scenes and weird connections between elements of the story,” giving viewers the chance to be surprised. It’s this aspect that keeps you glued to the computer screen. Check the Adobe Artist site for other gems, including a short by another Brazilian filmmaker, Nando Costa.
Although her ink drawings always carry a somber vibe about them, Thais Beltrame’s (the only girl holding it down in the Sao Paulo artist collective Famiglia Baglione) U.S. solo debut will be anything but low key. Her new black-and-white works will be joined by watercolors for her When All the Stars Are Gone exhibit kicking off at Carmichael Gallery this Thursday. The title of the show refers to the literal skies, where she looks to for inspiration, and the pieces feature children walking down the path of awareness, turning into new people as they become wiser. I’m totally into the pensive state her work always leaves me in. The show runs till May 28, and in the back gallery will also be Get Rich Quick, a collection from the gallery’s collectors that includes work by Barry McGee, David Choe, Banksy and Kaws.
In another well-curated proposal, Choque Cultural’s chronicling the art of text in Caligrafia, its latest exhibit. Jumping off from Chaz Bojorquez’s famous East L.A. tags, the show features a diverse array of styles from 40 international artists. Hardly anything is left out in this extensive visual history: Loomit’s 3-D letters, Atsuo’s glittery work, Retna’s engraved metalwork and seminal artist Billy Argel’s Brazilian skate contribution. Other big stars include L.A.’s own Saber and New York City’s KR. Media forms extend from painting to prints and photos. See a few pieces from the show online at the site. The show runs till June 27.
Being an outsider sucks. We sometimes feature products on our site, like kicks, that are available only in Brazil, and we’re definitely guilty for making you salivate and yearn for them. Today we’re psyched to tell you about the launch in mid-May of MOMA’s Brazil Product Collection, a group of 75 Brazilian design goodies not found anywhere else in the U.S. One of the works featured is Estudio Manus, who we introduced here a while ago and has gone on to dizzying success since then. Also in the collection is a sushi bowl by design kings the Campana Brothers, a movable Centipede fruit bowl by Gustavo Engelhardt, Daniel Castelo and Diego Costi and a Dry Erase Wall Clock by Ricardo Saint-Clair (pictured)"”MOMA exclusives, so ha, take that, Brazil, you can’t get these products over there. The products will be available super-close: at MOMA Design stores and on MOMA’s site. Which means for now, you don’t need to take an emergency Portuguese class to learn how to say “Can you buy these for me?”
Interesting things are happening in the sneaker/partnering news department this week. Run-DMC’s abandoned their Adidas loyalty to Nike by releasing a Nike+ running soundtrack. And on the heels of that is Vice Brazil’s launch with partner Converse in tow. Kicking off Tuesday is The Way We Run, a multi-track of events spanning art, music, fashion and skate in Sao Paulo, like a meet and greet with team skaters and DJ sets, all taking place at various high-profile places for six weeks. The event ends with a surprise show. I met Vice Brazil publisher Tony Cebrian a few months ago, who told me he has big plans for the Vice empire’s South American version of the free magazine, including featuring stories that will knock any generalizations of Brazil right out of the water. Look for a translated version of those stories to wind their way to your copy of Vice soon. I’m looking forward, just as you likely are, of seeing some Dos and Dont’s from below the Equator.