A leather teddy bear chair by the Campana Brothers.
Taking advantage of this important legacy, cultural entrepreneurs are determined to capitalize on the country’s creative past, while promoting a new generation of talent. Design São Paulo, which just had its first iteration from June 15 to 19 at Niemeyer’s famous Oca building in Ibirapuera park, brought together 17 of the best design galleries in the country (plus one from Portugal), as well as special exhibitions by the Campana Brothers and international guests Maurizio Gallante and Tal Lancman. (The Campanas also hosted a series of talks with Ingo Maurer and Gijs Bakker.)
A chaise by Oscar Niemeyer, at Artemobilia gallery
The fair, which will be held yearly, only showcases unique or limited-edition pieces, such as vintage items by Lina Bo Bardi and Sergio Rodrigues, and new works by up-and-comers like Rodrigo Almeida and Zanini de Zanine. The event serves as a commercial platform for the design community in Brazil, and also promotes cross-pollination of disciplines: fashion designer Gloria Coelho, for example, created totemic lights reminiscent of her structural clothes, while jewelry designer Antonio Bernardo blew up one of his signature earrings into a swirling, golden chandelier. “When design is good, it all works together regardless of whether it’s from the same time period or follows the same direction,” said curator Maria Helena Estrada, editor in chief of ARC Design magazine.
Oscar Niemeyer's famous Oca building, where the fair took place.
Click here for a few of the show’s highlights