A Look at Some of the Artists that Inspire Us
As we launch our new packaging (and complete our 10th year), I thought it might be worthwhile to show some of the artists that have inspired us along the way.
While the first connotations of Brazil are often soccer, beach, Amazon and bikinis -and perhaps often not in that order- there is an enormous cultural depth in art, music, and cuisine that unfortunately is not readily available through the normal channels and must be sought out.
Perhaps this is somewhat analogous to Brazilian coffee. When we started this coffee adventure, Brazilian coffee was often regarding as lower quality, lacking the depth and complexity that many in the specialty coffee industry sought. It wasn’t that the quality did not exist, but rather it was not being sought out. A decade later, Brazilian coffees are fetching record prices and are found in top-notch roasters the world over.
So here are some links to Brazilian artists that have inspired us along the way, including providing inspiration for our new packaging. I won’t spoil their work with my interpretations and sentiments, but rather provide some links so that hopefully you can discover them if you haven’t yet, and may that discovery lead you on a path to some more of the beauty that Brazil has to offer.
Best known for the promenades of Copacabana, Burle Marx was an artist in a pure sense. Whether his medium was paint or plants, his unique vision earned him worldwide fame and lives on throughout Brazil today.
Burle Marx Website
Burle Marx Wikipedia Article
UNESCO World Heritage Description of Sítio Burle Marx including biography
A January 2009 New York Times Article on Burle Marx
A sculptor and painter who trained with Portinari, Athos Bulcão is best known for his tile patterns and the work he did with Oscar Nieymeyer.
Fundação Athos Bulcão (Funathos)
Online Gallery of Athos Bulcão’s Work
Ronaldo Fraga is a Brazilian stylist that has gained acclaim both in Brazil and abroad for his unique clothing designs that often incorporate various elements of Brazilian culture. Shown below is a line that Fraga designed in tribute to Athos Bulcão.
Luiz Bonfá was a classically trained guitarist who played samba-canção, a style of popular music with a samba-based rhythm that was popular in Brazil after WWII. This style would be subdued (or refined, depending on your point of view) into Bossa Nova by João Gilberto and legendary composer Tom Jobim a few years later. While Bossa Nova had one foot in Cool Jazz, Luiz Bonfá seemed to always maintain a more rootsy style. He garnered fame for his score to Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus.
Born in Varre-Sai, Rio de Janeiro, (coincidentally an historic coffee area that UFLA has recently worked with to improve post-harvest coffee practices), Baden Powell was one of the most influential Brazilian guitarists; a virtuoso with an incredible sense of melody and rhythm.
Baden Powell Wikipedia Page
Spotify Link to Baden Powell
A German Homage Site with Guitar Tab of Baden’s Songs
As Alex Atala discusses in the video below, like American cuisine, “Brazilian Cuisine” is hard to define since it encompasses so many influences. But what makes Alex Atala unique is the passion he brought for incorporating Brazilian ingredients, particularly from the Amazon, into fine dining. His D.O.M. restaurant is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in the world.
Alex Atala Wikipedia Article
Alex Atala Book: D.O.M. Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients – Amazon.com Link