terça-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2011

Brazilian Giclee Limited Edition Brazilian Art

 Brazilian Giclees Limited Edition Brazilian Art: Sonia Madruga

True Brazilian Limited Edition Giclées is not something easy to find, especially when you are looking for refined esthetics and unique patterns.   Art of Brazil can be very stereotyped, especially when we look into depictions of popular references like the Brazilian Carnival, the beaches, the Amazon, or other devotions.  After an intense search for art from Brazil in galleries and ateliers, I was initially frustrated not see what we were looking for.   Ironically, my encounter with Brazilian watercolor painter Sonia Madruga took place at after long searches in the Internet.  Suddenly, I saw a watercolor from Sonia who portrayed one of the icons of the Brazilian Carnival festivity, the couple which represents a samba-school: “The Flag-Bearer and the Samba Host”. (See in the link in greater size of this Carnival Art Painting)

I was thrilled to see not only an exclusive special edition depicting the Brazilian Carnival expression, but most of all, that her esthetics matched everything I was looking for in terms of colors, lines, movements and materials.  Immediately I took conscience our encounter was in pure synchrony, and therefore I had a mission.   I felt compelled and mesmerized to show her art abroad Rio borders, so people all over the world could also sense the pleasure I experimented, when seeing her watercolors and giclée prints.   When I finally saw at her atelier the paintings, her limited edition giclée depicting Rio de Janeiro as examples,  I was sure something supernatural was about to take place: Definitely, it was a Providential encounter.

Amongst Sonia Madruga´s  recurrent themes, we will find Rio de Janeiro landscapes, Brazilian Carnival culture, the Divine and spirituality, the love for Peace, and last but not least, a special cherish for cats.   This article will tentatively try to describe the journey of this fantastic artist, which has produced certainly a remarkable collection of watercolor in Brazil´s new art scene, through the showing of some her paintings, critics by art especialists and collectors, and sparkles of her own words. 

Let´s start this voyage by reading a few words of Sonia Madruga, when decided to have a full commitment to Brazilian Art.  “For more than 20 years I was a fashion designer.  Later, for six years, I travelled to 35 countries in all the continents of this planet.   After 2002, I embraced the watercolor as my professional expression.” 

The name of this colorful watercolor by Sonia Madruga is "Christ in Open Arms".

After Sonia´s commitment for art in Brazil in 2002, she adopted the watercolors as her principal expression. She participated in several specific workshops, like the State University of Rio de Janeiro´s Observation Design and Live Model with Otávio Avancini and Alberto Kaplan for watercolor techniques.   Later she took part of 18th Edition of Professor Charles Watson Intensive Workshop.   Her fascination with watercolor and its modern paper techniques became evident when she decided to probe deep into its mysteries.  She travelled then to Spain and to the Cairo museum in Egypt, to understand the history of watercolor from primitive paintings in papyrus to contemporary effect on different kinds of papers’ textures. 

Art of Brazil: Sonia´s Period 2002-2008: 

She wrote the Brazilan art book-album of watercolors called “Paths of Gibran” – “Caminhos de Gilbran”, edited in Portuguese and French.  It was also published on her personal  site www.soniamadruga.com.   The Brazilian artist later opened her studio with a permanent  exhibitionn and art gallery.   From 2002 until July 2008 Sonia held six solo exhibitions in Brazil and participated in several conferences related to Rio de Janeiro art, giclée techniques, and the evolution of Brazilian watercolor.  In September 2008 , during the release  of her watercolors in Giclée at the Artexpo Las Vegas, USA, Sonia Madruga signed a contract with the Ward-Nasse Gallery in  SoHo, New York.   Later, Sonia´s art is laureate is in a public contest organized by the City of Rio de Janeiro specifically for Brazilian artists and artisans.  

Art Critique by Roberto Menna Barreto , famed author in Brazil, entrepreneur, fine art collector:

Sonia Madruga ´s art and the triumph of her watercolors 

“Sonia Madruga doesn´t even have to say she is a “Carioca” (term used to describe those born in the city of Rio de Janeiro) both because of her personality and her career intrinsically identified with the city of Rio.  For 20 years, Sonia served as women's fashion designer and her innovation with materials and concepts, established new standards in Rio city´s living and fashion scene.  Already at this stage, her encouragement for the fine arts emphasized and underlined her work; either by supporting the record breaking public attendance of the Rodin exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Rio, or working in partnership with fashion artists of the new concepts of “Wearable Art”, in her collections.   Sonia then traveled the world totally committed to the adventure of self-knowledge.   With many stories to tell, she finally encountered her mission in the challenging watercolor art technique, her innermost form of expression."

The first complete and organic work actually occurred in June 2002.   From 2002 to 2008 participated, the Brazilian artist participated in numerous exhibitions and achieved an impressive record of 10 consecutive gold medals, awarded by the City of Rio´s Fine Arts Institute. In Paris 2009, her art of Brazil was honored by the Academie des Arts et Lettres Française ” with the “Dargent medal” (Silver Medal).  The Rio artist developed an amazing color and shapes technique, within a contemporary language and, like all genuine art, non-transferable.  It is clearly art painting done with pleasure.   Without any kind of hesitation, what strikes the eye at first sight is the color variation exuberance, combined with her contagious joy. A closer look though, one soon recognizes the competence of a truly unique technique, which is surprising because it was achieved so rapidly. “

Leda Maria – Art Curator - Ward Nasse Gallery - Mar 2009

“What to say about Sonia Madrugas art?   In my view her work has a touch of Matisse in her use of color and a little bit of Lautrec in her daily life scenes - all full of joy and very engaging.  Sonia´s work is strong and exudes energy while remaining very feminine.   Her compositions are original and unique and, unsurprisingly, her inspiration comes direct from the source: from her travels around the world. 

Bridget de Moura Castro, musician from the United States,   in respect to the watercolor she painted especially for CD “Ave Maria” album cover, from the record label LArt. – May 2007

"We are all delighted with the very beautiful cover for the Ave Maria CD.   It has so much life, strength, love, colour and a wonderfully imaginative use of space that depicts a truly living message of spirituality... Not only my friend the singer, Claudette, was enchanted and moved by the painting, but all our friends who have seen the CD cover were very moved by it.  We send you our congratulations; our admiration and pleasure in being able to collaborate in what we hope will be only the first of many other projects." 

Claudette Leblanc, soprano, from Canada, also with respect to the watercolor she painted especially for CD “Ave Maria” album cover, from the record label Lard. – May 2007 

"I was so impressed with the art on the cover that I sent it on to a friend who was equally as impressed, who sent it on to a mutual friend who at this moment is in New York.   This person is an International Art Dealer in New York/Toronto/UK and Dubai. What a gifted Artist!!”

Selected List Exhibitions & Participation

2002 to 2005

June 2002 - Air watercolors Sonia Madruga, 2002. – “The River Watercolor-Transitions”, Sonia Madruga, the work was chosen to be the symbol of workshops UERJ (in the second half of 2002).  Posters were produced with this watercolor and workshops for its development, and posted in all the museums and cultural centers of the state of Rio de Janeiro. 

June-July 2003. - Travel to Spain, Lebanon and Egypt: watercolors research on the Prado in Madrid; research in the Cairo Museum on watercolors, painting, Lebanon, the series in honor of Gibran Khalil Gibran and write the book (to be published) FLOWER OF THE EMPEROR (in Portuguese and French).  Her watercolors debut on Emmagoss Gallery in Beirut.

February 2004 - Delivery handmade copy of the book-album of watercolors that he wrote about Lebanon in hands, Mr. President Emile Lahoud of Lebanon, on a visit to Rio de Janeiro. Rio

February 2005 - Citibank - Bar – “FULL CARNIVAL. Rio 

May 2005 - Travel to Pirenópolis, Goiás, which results in the series “FEAST OF DIVINE”.  Pirenópolis, Goiás

November 2005 - Participates in the Annual Auction of Fine Arts International Newcomers Club of Rio de Janeiro (INC) at the Sheraton Hotel, and has sold her three works presented. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Art in Brazil: 2006 to 2008

April 2006 - Collective at the Copacabana Fort, in the Temporary Exhibition Hall Historical Museum of the Army. Rio de Janeiro.

June 2006 - Collective exhibition at the Cultural Center Theophilo Massad in Angra dos Reis where he received the gold medal in two categories involved - Contemporary Paintings and Watercolors.  Collective exhibition at the Military Museum Linhares, RJ, again winning two gold medals in the categories of Contemporary Paintings and Watercolors. Receives the title of Commander of Arts by the ABD. Angra dos Reis, RJ.

December 2006 - Cover CD for the appointment, with Sebastião Tapajós, opening the celebrations of nine years in the Music Project Museum. Seal L'Art.  Reproductions of the watercolors in Pictus Sonia Madruga, Shopping Gávea, Rio de Janeiro: clocks and paper and canvas reproductions authenticated by the artist.

May 2007 - In the exhibition of the "Divine Waters"  - Celebrating the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI and the canonization of Frei Galvão, 11-20 May at the Castle Wine.In this exhibition, highlighting two watercolors, one in honor of Frei Galvão, and watercolor AVE MARIA Gratia Plena, produced especially for the CD cover Ave Maria, the label L'ART, whose launch coincides with and celebrates the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Brazil. Visiting hours: from 12h to 23h, with free admission.

June 2007 – “100 years of the Church of St. Alphonsus and Art” - - In celebration of the centenary of the Church of St. Albans, organ concert with Bridget de Moura Castro, book signings CD Ave Maria, seal L'ART. The original watercolor, Sonia Madruga, who illustrated the cover of this CD, received the visiting public, on display at the main altar. 

July 2007 – “VOTE Campaign CHRIST” - 30 days every day - July 2007 - VOTE Campaign CHRIST. Every day for 30 days watercolors and photographs that attracted hundreds of visitors from Brazil and several countries.

December 2007 - Participation in group exhibition at the Military Museum Linhares. Completing the cycle of 10 consecutive gold medals in four years, with several elected by the public as the best work of the hall. Meeting this circuit exhibit was a tribute to Maria Helena da Cunha, my mother. Rio

February 2008: “Mega Carnival Flags in Rio´s Sambadrome”. - Otavio Avancini Project for the School of Samba Pimpolho Mirim, the Rio Grande; participated in the two mega-painting flags with 5.5 m x 5.5 m each: Vila Isabel Samba School & Salgueiro Samba School

March 2008: “International Women's Day”. - Meeting at the workshop brought together women of different generations, with the theme: Successful Women and Their Issues. Exhibition of watercolors in honor of the woman.

This Rio art watercolor part of the "Carnival" series is one of my favorites.  It combines several elements of the magical festivity: The Brazilian Flag, the icon figure of the samba dancer, the Sugar Loaf, Corcovado Mountain with the Christ Statue, delicate stars, and other "hidden elements."  A masterpiece!

March 2008: Watercolors by Sonia Madruga “Gibran Exhibition in 125 years” - LOCATION: Club Athletic Hall of Mount Lebanon - Lebanon Av, 2267 - Ibirapuera - Sao Paulo - SP, March 28 to April 09. Tribute to Gibran by artists, painters and sculptors from various sources-immigration Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, French, German, Latin American and also of Arab origin and Sonia Madruga represents Brazil. São Paulo, SP.

September 2008: Las Vegas Art Expo - Participates in the art fair in the U.S. and signed to the Ward-Nasse Gallery, Soho, NY, USA

Brazilian Art: Sonia Madruga 2009 to 2011

January 2009: Year Watercolor and Villa Lobos. - The Watercolor “Memories” of Sonia Madruga is the CD cover for Bachiannas Album, seal L'ART, with pianist Luiz Carlos Moura Castro, celebrating Villa Lobos Anniversary.

April 2009: “BRAZILIAN BEAT” - Ward-Nasse Gallery NY - Curator Leda Prado, conference, 11-26 April - 2009. SoHo NY - USA.

May 2009: Cultural FIESP - Ruth Cardoso - UNESCO Beirut named World Book Capital for 2009. / "Byblos, the oldest inhabited city in the world, was the first school that mankind has memory, having been founded by the Phoenicians invented the alphabet, the foundations of universal culture. Byblos in the book industry has prospered so much that its products by the today have names derived from it, such as: Bible, library, bibliography, etc.. This grand event also presented historical documents and expressive names in their respective fields:  Gibran Khalil Gibran, Amin Maalouf, Raduan Nassar, Milton Hatoum, Paulo Coelho Antonio Houaiss Evanildo Bechara, Aziz Ab'Saber, Father Emile Eddé, Paulo Daniel Farah, Roberto Khatlab, among others.  Artists, painters and sculptors of international pay tribute to immigration with their works.   Sonia Madruga accepted the invitation and has two works painted during her visit to Lebanon in 2003. São Paulo, SP.

Below, the powerful and striking watercolor "St. Jude Thaddeus", in a Brazilian Arstistical perspective

May 2009: at Paris, Sonia Madruga receives award from the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of France. - The artist receives the Medaille d'Argent by all of her work. Official ceremony of the French Academy of Arts, Science and Letters at the Palace Dauphine, Paris, France.

May 2009 : Exhibition at Galerie Everart, Paris - France. - From 11 to 26 May 2009 the artist participated in the Hall "L'Univers brésilien." Co-curated by Diva Pavesi and Alexandros Papadopoulos Evremidis. Paris, France.

Jun 2009 –“In the waters of Buzios” - Flory Menezes Gallery, 168 Rua das Pedras. Sonia Madruga solo exhibition, featuring 38 works, 22 watercolors and a tribute to Brigitte Bardot, painted with rainwater from Paris.  Exhibition extended until SET-2009. Buzios, Rio de Janeiro.

June 2010:  “Call of Art - Mail Art Exhibition” -. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece 325 artists, 608 works from 45 countries participating in this show. Curator Thomae told - Athens, Greece.

August 2011- “II International Meeting of Watercolors in Paraty” - 25 to 20 Aug - Sonia Madruga involved presenting two watercolors with the Divine as a metaphor. The two watercolors of the Divine are distinguished among the six best works of the meeting in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro

September 2011- “IMMACULATE”  - Sonia Madruga is a guest painter to curator Marcelo Frazão to expose the opening of her Immaculate Gallery. 

May 2011 - ” A DAY FOR PEACE”  at Centro Cultural Casa das Rosas, individual Exhibition of watercolors by Sonia Madruga. Avenida Paulista, 37 - Sao Paulo. In presenting the exhibition”Waters of Peace”, in the event which brought instrumental music, dance, storytelling, poetry and videos of Prem Rawsat. Sao Paulo - SP.

terça-feira, 25 de outubro de 2011

Rio Queen of Carnival Contest 2012

Rio Carnival 2012 Brazil Carnival Queen of Carnival Contest

Brazil carnival Ooah! witnessed one of the most important parallel events which opens the 2012 Brazilian Carnival festivities: The Queen of Carnival Rio de Janeiro Contest. This preliminary event took place Friday, October 8th and was held in the City of Samba, aka, “Cidade do Samba”, close to the harbor area. The competition is being organized by Rio´s Tourism department and started out with more than 100 registered candidates, from girls ranging from 18 up to 35 years old. The objective of this night, the official semifinal, was to select the top 8 elite samba dancers from a total of 33 contenders: A tough mission not just for themselves, whom of which sometimes dedicated a full year for this contest , but to the specialized panel of judges. Let´s see how this samba festivity all happened.
Below, a video of the initial presentation with all contestants.

As journalists gathered at their allocated spot, family, friends, and supporters of the Rio Queen of Carnival contestants kept arriving, creating an atmosphere of excitement. Journalist were betting on their favorites and also comparing to last year’s edition, which was very competitive and had real carnival muses disputing for the title, won by Bianca Salgueiro, the current Queen of Carnival in Rio.

Below we see the interview of Angela dos Santos from Viradouro

Each candidate would have a chance to present themselves to a panel of judges, respond a question about Rio de Janeiro, and finally present in a 1 minute and half, the samba routine. The candidates would be judged upon several criteria including friendliness, ease, body harmony, sociability, carnival spirit, elegance, and finally samba dancing skills. To be noted, many of the samba dancers were very nervous when they were in front of the panel of jurors, somewhat natural, since some of them were 1st timers.

Of the 33 candidates enrolled on this semifinal phase, 27 attended. Most of the samba dancers are some how attached to an official Rio samba-school Many of them started to practice their samba skills in "little leagues" and "samba dancing school lesson for kids" at the age of 5 through 10. The winner, besides the crown and sash, will receive the amount of R$ 20,000. The second place will hold the title of 1st Princess of Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2012, a tiara and sash, plus R$ 15,000. The third placed will receive the title as the 2nd Princess of Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2012, winning a tiara, sash plus R$15,000. The mandates of the official Rio de Janeiro 2012 court of the carnival will begin on the date of their election ( October 28th 2011) and end on February 27, 2012 ( Official Brazilian Carnival closing in 2012).

Cristiane Alves Samba Dance Routine from Salgueiro Samba School

It was a true pleasure to see the emotion of the contestants when they spoke about their struggle to be participating of the contest, the support received by friends and family. Many of them inclusively praised God for helping them overcome so many financial and other struggles. But when the samba drums started playing, as if by magic, positive samba spirits blessed the catwalk and all of them presented beautiful samba routines full of energy and harmony. 

Below, an interesting interview with Susan Gonçalves:

Another marvelous aspect of the contest was to see the variety of the Brazilian identity and; samba culture, with women from many ethnic backgrounds: brunettes, native Brazilians, “mulatas”, white, black pearls and blonds, full and embodied in the spirit of their roots. This alone was a spectacle on its own, to see how Brazilian women are proud of their body, shape, ethnic background and color: A true power of the "carnival culture" in Brazil

Luciana Abreu Samba Routine:

After the presentation of all candidates, the panel of judges decided after almost 2 hours of a closed meeting, the final 8 candidates would be the following:

01 - Suzan Maria Souza Gonçalves (candidate #7)
03 - Ângela Denise dos Santos (candidate #12)
04 - Letícia Martins Guimarães (candidate #13)
05 - Luciana Cordeiro de Abreu (candidate #14)
06 - Jaqueline de Jesus Rocha (candidate #15)
08 - Cristiane de Souza Alves (candidate #30)

Leticia Guimaraes Samba Routine:

See you then on the great final, to be held October 28th 2012, certainly an event no samba enthusiast can miss!

Queen of Carnival 2012 - Location Cidade do Samba 7:00 PM

We posted above too few samba routines of some final candidates so you can get familiar for the contest on the 28th of October.

sábado, 22 de janeiro de 2011

Brasil Unite USA in Samba Dance: Brazil Carnival Students

http://www.brazilcarnival.com.br/events/vip-samba-rehears... Samba has been a bridge between American dance students and Brazilian samba professionals. University of Iowa has a dance program that includes samba and they partnered with Sao Clemente Samba School, a very traditional samba school in Rio de Janeiro.