domingos Tòtora

October 28, 2016

Lush-green-mountain-landscape-Brazil

The brilliant Domingos Tòtora is an artist
from a mountainous region of Brazil,
where his life's work involves
sculpting curvilinear furniture and
art objects infused with an
earthy essence I can only
describe as
s o u l f u l  h a r m o n y.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

What a rare pleasure to learn more
about the artist's work at Sossego
(the Portuguese word for tranquility)
during Design Chicago at the Mart
in the Windy City.


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

Sossego Design is bringing the warm, relaxed, and
welcoming comfort of Brazilian lifestyle
to North America, and joining the Sossego
team at the debut of Domingos Tòtora
opened me to a lovely new world.

chair-Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Casca Chair


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Domingos Tòtora has lived his whole life in Maria da Fe,
and for a time, taught art to children...how lucky were they!?

It is quite enough to behold his handmade creations,
to touch and admire their organically elegant forms.

But when you learn how they came to be...
herein lies a layer of goodness which must be shared.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
This was my favorite! Vazado sculpture - Domingos Tòtora

Before the artist begins sculpting,
discarded cardboard boxes
near the end of their functional life
are gathered.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

"A fascinating and laborious process
that emulates the cycle of life"
is how Sossego's managing partner
Jonathan Durling eloquently describes
the method Domingos employs.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

The boxes are transformed into pulp before
elements of earth and water are blended in.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

This cardboard which lived an ordinary life
of purity and function as a container,
undergoes deconstruction before
becoming clay
in the sensitive hands 
of a master.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

After being shaped into a form richly reflective of
the Brazilian landscape, the sculptures rest
outdoors to bake in the sun.


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Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Frisos centerpiece

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Domingos Tòtora

An encounter with Domingos' work at Sossego
ushered me into a profound sense of awe and reverence
as my mind contemplated the artist's philosophies,
and my heart reconciled this sacred journey of becoming.


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Mesa Agua - modern table by Domingos Tòtora

Philosophies?


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

Sustainable ideals.
A passion for natural materials.
Organic processes.
Love for the earth.


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard


I listened closely to Durling's narration with an open heart,
allowing the passion and warmth he exudes
to awaken in me
wonder,
gratitude,
and
a timeless sense of sossego.

It is difficult to translate the experience into language,
and isn't that truly what fine art always accomplishes?Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Kraft Bench (reminiscent of the contours of the Minas Gerais region)

How beautiful that we need not understand
a lick of Portuguese to deeply connect
with the spirit of Tòtora's creations
which to me,
"shoot arrows of silence into
the heart of love itself"
as one of my spiritual teachers
phrases it.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard

A raw, used-up entity,
in silence and utter humility,
dissolves for a time,
merges with earth and water
before ascension
toward beauty,
toward new life,
and
toward fresh purpose
with the help
of earth honoring hands.


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Verada Bench and Anfora Riscada - Domingos Totora

Engaging with such forms may change you.


Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
via

It changed me, and this stay-at-home-gypsy
knows nada of sinuous Brazilian mountains,
of the design world in Sao Paulo,
or lush landscapes inspiring
transcendent craftsmanship.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Sossego

Sossego's video brilliantly captures the artist's milieu.

Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Sossego, Frisos disk - decorative wall hanging

It's not a small thing what Sossego is doing
in North America to introduce
Domingos Tòtora, Aristeu Pires,
and modern Brazilian design.

In my own small way, I wonder if I may also
illumine such rich artistry and brilliance
radiating from a glorious sun-soaked land.
Sossego-modern-Brazilian-design-Domingos-Totora-artist-cardboard
Frisos by Domingos Tòtora


If at all possible, do go visit and feel
the sensual work of Domingo Tòtora
in person at Sossego
(Design Center at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago).

Peace (and sossego) to you right where you are.



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