Archive for January, 2010

“Choro For Haiti” at Zinc Bar, Monday, January 25 at 9 PM

January 21, 2010 Comments Off on “Choro For Haiti” at Zinc Bar, Monday, January 25 at 9 PM News

Members of the Brazilian instrumental group, Choro Ensemble, will perform a one-hour set at Zinc Bar New York, with all proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross disaster relief for the people of Haiti. Donation at the door is $10 (larger donations are welcomed). The performance features Anat Cohen on clarinet, Carlos Almeida on 7-string guitar, Dionísio Santos on cavaquinho, and Zé Mauricio on percussion. Zinc Bar is at 82 West 3rd Street (between Thompson & Sullivan), Greenwich Village, New York NY 10012. Tel. 212-477-9462.

Rio artist Vitorino selected for the 2010 Austin “Carnaval Brasileiro” poster

January 13, 2010 2 Comments » News

CarnavalPosterSmallerMike Quinn, producer of the huge (and hugely popular) Austin carnaval celebration, has promoted the event with a colorful poster each year for its 32 (yes, 32!) years. For this year, he recounts:

“I can’t go to Rio without at least one visit to the fabled Feira Hippie that takes place every Sunday in Ipanema’s Praça Osário. This arts and crafts fair, which started “back in the day,” also features dozens of painters, some true artists, some hacks, gathered at the center of the feira displaying their works.

One of them is a fellow named Sebastião Vitorino Nunes, known as Vitorino. I met Vitorino back in 1999 when I bought a very large piece of his, maybe four feet by three feet. It is his version of the samba school Mangueira whose colors are green and pink. His style consists of repeating a handful of silhouetted figures in row after row, graduating from small to smaller from bottom to top. In the Mangueira painting, the figures, about a third of whom are playing drums, are in straight lines, and rendered almost like gingerbread men, as is his style, in silhouette. They are against a shocking green background, wearing dark green shirts and pink trousers. There are at least 150 figures in the painting.

I resolved then to somehow get Vitorino to create a poster for Austin Carnaval. I’ve only used two Brazilian artists in the past, the legendary Rede in 1985, and the master of xilogravura (wood block printing) from Pernambuco, Jota Borges, in 1994, and wanted to have another Brazilian-created work in the gallery of our posters. I discussed this with his wife at one point in 2000 or 2001, but, owing to the distance involved, and the fact that I had no way to look at proofs other than snail mail, I was dissuaded from pursuing this course.

Fast forward to 2009. On my recent visit to the cidade maravilhosa, I went to the feira twice. My first dip into that mayhem found Vitorino to be absent. Was he sick? Dead? Asleep? (His wife had told me on another trip that he tends to paint all night and sleep all day.) But interestingly, I saw more than a handful of what I’d call Vitorino imitators. Seems his style has caught on, and several painters were displaying inferior renditions of the Vitorino cookie-cutter technique.

But on my second trip to the feira, I was delighted to find his wife, showing new works exhibiting his familiar style, but imbued with more colors than his paintings I’d seen previously. I immediately saw one I thought would work as a Carnaval poster. This time the figures represented female dancers, male drummers, male dancers. The work exploded with color, energy and Carnaval. I had to have it. We started negotiating and finally agreed on a price. She wrapped it up. It was canvas secured to wooden stretchers, so I carefully packaged it to carry on the plane beside me. No way I was going to check that precious parcel.

So, I finally have a Vitorino poster. To preserve the integrity and vibrancy of the original colors, we chose to print it with two additional colors instead of the traditional 4-color offset process. It has been worth the wait and the expense. The poster is amazing, and I’m happy to have another Brazilian represented in our collection, and certainly a true work of art. Thanks, Vitorino!”

The poster is for sale on Austin Carnaval’s website, and the website is full of information about the event, which will take place this year on February 20 at the Palmer Events Center, and features our own fabulous carnaval musicians, “Beleza Brazil,” for the 8th consecutive year.

Feliz Carnaval!