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125 Years - 7 Bordallianos from Portugal

7 Portuguese artists, for the celebration of the 125 years of the brand, re-interpreted the elements of Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro’s pieces, exploring the artist’s unparalleled universe and giving it their personal marks, created an unusual, numbered and limited collection of 125 pieces.

A Banca

O dinheiro é tão bonito, Tão bonito, o maganão! Tem tanta graça, o maldito, Tem tanto chiste, o ladrão! O falar, fala de um modo... Todo ele, aquele todo... E elas acham-no tão guapo! Velhinha ou moça que veja, Por mais esquiva que seja, Tlim! Papo. E a cegueira da justiça Como ele a tira num ai! Sem lhe tocar com a pinça; E só dizer-lhe: «Aí vai...» Operação melindrosa, Que não é lá qualquer coisa; Catarata, tome conta! Pois não faz mais do que isto, Diz-me um juiz que o tem visto: Tlim! Pronta. Nessas espécies de exames Que a gente faz em rapaz, São milagres aos enxames O que aquele demo faz! Sem saber nem patavina De gramática latina, Quer-se um rapaz dali fora? Vai ele com tais falinhas, Tais gaifonas, tais coisinhas... Tlim! Ora... Aquela fisionomia É lábia que o demo tem! Mas numa secretaria Aí é que é vê-lo bem! Quando ele de grande gala, Entra o ministro na sala, Aproveita a ocasião: «Conhece este amigo antigo?» — Oh, meu tão antigo amigo! (Tlim!) Pois não! “O dinheiro” João de Deus, in Campo de flores [“The Money”, a poem by João e Deus, in Campo de flores]

Cactus

The opuntia ficus-indica cactus, such as the snail, already has quite a history. Were used in paintings, engravings, movies. And for years they are part of several Susanne Themlitz works. For the edition of 125 copies celebrating 125 years of the Fábrica Bordallo Pinheiro, the artist presents us with a cactus fragment with a snail in faience. This support for food (cheese, cold meat... and, why not? for snails) on a table results in a still life [natureza morta in Portuguese]. Something that seems to have been frozen or stopped in time, thanks to its matter. So perhaps the English term still life (= stop life, still life) better suits this idea.

Dueto

The ambitious aesthetic program, created by Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro, in the factory he founded in Caldas da Rainha, established one of the boldest and unique artistic projects implemented in Portugal. We are fortunate of even today to maintain a significant core of this heritage entails an enormous responsibility to match the excellence of artistic production of Bordallo Pinheiro ceramic. Visabeira has nowadays the privilege of continuing a unique project in the world, whose good business performance will only be surely guaranteed by the deep knowledge and the proper recognition of the artistic value of Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro’s work. Dueto celebrates the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Fábrica de Faianças das Caldas da Rainha, with an exclusive piece, the work of two of the most important and influential Portuguese artists: Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro (1846-1905) and contemporary artist Joana Vasconcelos. An amazing choreography performed by ceramic swallows and fish (bream) creates Dueto, a centrepiece designed by Joana Vasconcelos from the original moulds designed by Bordallo Pinheiro. The exceptional and rigorous naturalistic trace of different elements - both leading character and structural support of the composition - collaborate in an unexpected dance, full of dynamics and chromatic sense where swallows and fish seem to celebrate the richness of the artistic legacy of the Fábrica de Faianças das Caldas da Rainha.

Elefantes

I have known for some years two elephants who live in the back of the Fábrica de Faianças Bordallo Pinheiro. They live together with snails, frogs, chickens, ducks, bees, many birds and other animals. I keep a good memory of the day we talked for the first time, we became friends. When I was asked to design a piece for the 125th anniversary of Bordallo Pinheiro, I ask them for help. They wandered in the factory museum, chose bowls, pots, vases and began to push them. I enjoyed what they did. They are the authors of the things I've done for this anniversary... I merely watched.

Lisboa

This is the city where I was born. Lisbon is mysterious and bright as no other. She is full of colours, corners and views we never get enough of. This tray id the city’s “floor” and the pyramids are its hills. The squares may be many people, houses, streets and gardens. But the river as well. It may be combined as desired and it may accommodate what is desired. Lisbon was also, before Caldas, the city where Bordallo lived and worked. He was far from imagining what I would do, more than two centuries after, with his pieces. I hope he doesn’t mind, especially because this is a tribute.

Menina Saxe

Menina Saxe discusses the concept of the plastic and visual imagery of Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro. The deconstruction of a jar, inspired by the Saxe ceramic, began an intimate narrative which led to the metamorphosis. A creative journey on the search of identity records towards the idealization of a tribute to the pottery itself and its powerful alchemy. Menina Saxe appears enigmatic, adorned with acanthus leaves and wearing the Bordallo’s sandblasted. I decided to crown it with Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro swallows, which seem to prepare another journey through time by the creative paths. The house gecko also whirls in ecstasy with this Bordallo’s idea. Menina Saxe evokes the beginnings of ceramics of Caldas in the image of the mythical Maria dos Cacos, the Portuguese blue tiles - with its acanthus leaves surroundings painted in cobalt blue - Queen Leonor, founder of the city of Caldas, and the multiplicity of styles in the excellent Bordallo’s ceramics.