Fernando and Humberto Campana’s $193,000 Mongolian Lamb Anhanguera sofa
Drawing inspiration from Brazilian street life and carnival culture, the brothers FERNANDO AND HUMBERTO CAMPANA combine found objects – such as scraps of wood and fabric off-cuts – with advanced technologies to create a vibrant, energetic and definitively Brazilian approach to design. Taking their cue from everyday scenarios and using unexpected combinations of found materials – such as rubber hose, tissue paper, string or furry toys –Fernando and Humberto Campana transform modest materials into objects that celebrate the discarded and mundane and are instilled with the spirit of contemporary Brazil that they describe as “zest for life”.
Neither brother intended to be a designer. Humberto, born in the Rio Claro area of São Paulo in 1953, originally studied law, but began to design furniture in the mid 1980s after Fernando, born in Brotas in 1961, had completed his architectural degree. Central to their practice is the importance of materials. The challenge, as the Campanas see it, is to transform something poor into something decadent and opulent. In the Vermelha chair, the brothers tie and weave an abundance of brilliantly coloured cord through a metal frame. Their Sushi chair transforms strips of brightly coloured plastic and carpet underlay into decorative rolls which then ‘upholster’ a basic frame. This process of transformation has injected a new energy into contemporary design by presenting a bold, vibrant alternative to the rationalist ideals of the long dominant European modern movement.
Defined to be very deceptive, this classical looking sofa is actually a part of the Campana Brothers’ Brazilian Baroque collection, which was commissioned by Galleria O in Rome last year as an exercise in re-imagining the extraordinary Roman Baroque period. This $193,000 Anhanguera sofa, which Fernando Campana describes to be completely animated sofa boasting an alligator on top of spider, the spider on top of a toothbrush, comes crafted in Mongolian lamb girded by ribbons of baroque bronze sculpture. And, it can be seen at the gallery Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, which is hosting the Campana Brothers’ Barroco Rococó, an exhibition of eclectic, exuberant and iconoclastic designs by design duo, until 24th Feb.