Talented Sculptor Reclaims Brazil’s Rainforest

Talented Sculptor Reclaims Brazil’s Rainforest


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There are great imaginative sculptors who create atypical works of art. There are also great sculptors who are able to deftly re-imagine materials; using the materials as pieces of art. This blog has reported on such sculptors using cardboard, snow, sugar and sticks. Then there is that small group of sculptures who can combine both talents. Brazilian sculptor Hugo Franca is such an artist.

Born in 1955, at the age of 26, Hugo moved to the northeastern coast of Bahia, to Transcoso, a small rustic town famous for its white, semi-deserted beaches. There he lived among the native Pataxo’ Indians and witnessed their respect of the area’s natural surroundings. Over time he was taught their unique methods of working in local wood and discovered that he had the rare gift for furniture design that has made him such a success today.

For several decades in the sixties and seventies, large tracks of rain forest were cleared for agriculture. The practice has now been outlawed. So Franco works with fallen trees of pequi wood, sometimes as big around as one hundred and fifty feet, and old canoes purchased from the Pataxo Indian tribes along the Amazon. Franco states that he hopes to raise awareness of environmental issues by transforming the pequi wood, left behind by deforestation, into beautifully sculptured, hugely scaled pieces of furniture. 

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