October 26, 2011

Portuguese music and a story - O homem do Saldanha

Video - watch João Manuel Serra

João Manuel Serra, was known as o Senhor do Adeus - the Lord of Goodbye. He died at age 80 last year's November, in Lisbon the city he loved. Every day he spent hours in the sun or rain watching the passing cars and waving to drivers near an area called the Saldanha. This gentleman was always very well dressed and had a great passion for movies. He used to blog about the movies he watched in the weekend. He was an educated man coming from a wealthy family. He started waving at people after his mother's death. He was then alone in the world and this helped him to fight loneliness. It started as a joke but soon realized that this simple gesture made people happier and they smiled when they waved back...He was an icon of the city.

The singer Marco Rodrigues has a fado called The Saldanha Man​​ on his latest album, Tantas Lisboas. It's a duet with Carlos do Carmo, a well-known fado singer, and with lyrics by Boss AC, a rapper, and music by Tiago Machado.

The night he died people came to the street in the sidewalk he used to hang and waved to the cars passing on the street. I translated the lyrics of O homem do Saldanha for you! I hope you enjoy the music and the story of this peculiar man.

The man from Saldanha

The smile on his face at night
In the square of the Saldanha
By the roadside standing
He's no strange to anyone
Everybody knows him
He nods and thanks
And the city continues on its way

The smile on his face at night
In the square of the Saldanha
Erasing loneliness
In the accompanying moonlight
You see him coming after dark
Cars wait him to cross the street
With the hand in the air as if to say
Hello, Lisbon

Welcome, my friend, to our street
It has been some time since I last saw you around
It is never too much, there is always room
Come here embrace me

I'm glad to see you in a good mood
Saying hello to passers-by
With pleasure mirrored on your face

Welcome to our street, my friend

It has been some time since I last saw you around
It is never too much, there is always room
Come on give me a hug
Because at night Lisbon smiles

It's not goodbye, he says hello
To whom passes by
Brown coat, John
he gives an air of his grace
Makes the city more cheerful

Crazy is the one who does not dream
Who does not realize this doesn’t know
how it feels to be alone.

It's not goodbye, he says hello
To whom passes by
With his look he embraces Lisbon
says goodbye to the square
It is getting late
he catchs a taxi and go away
Enough for today, tomorrow he’ll be back.

October 21, 2011

Portuguese painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso

This small painting "Beard the guise head," an oil on a card (24.5 X19 cm) Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso painted in 1916 was sold for 122,000 euros (170,000 USD) in an auction of Modern and Contemporary Art in Lisbon. The bid came on the phone. Other renowned Portuguese artists of the twentieth century as Abel Salazar, Graça Morais, Menez, Arpad Szenes, Vieira da Silva, Cesariny, among others, were also represented.

Amadeo de Souza-Cardozo was born in 1887 and died in 1918. He had no opportunity to see his work recognized. A precursor of modern art died prematurely at age 31. He just knew the incomprehension of others towards his art. At 19 he moved to Paris taking the first contact with Impressionism, then Expressionism and Cubism. He was a friend to Amadeo Modigliani and they shared a studio and hold exhibitions together in 1911. After attending an exhibition in the United States in 1913 he returned to Portugal where he causes a scandal with his exhibitions respectively in Oporto and Lisbon. His painting was criticized, ridiculed and, at times, there was even physical confrontation between critics and supporters of modern art.

Much time then passed until the reviews were revised. Now he has a due place in the of Portuguese painting and world painting history. He was a visionary, lived outside of time. I like his painting a lot, the colors, the shapes.

If you ever visit Portugal there's a Museum in the place where he was born, in the north, Amarante, Museu Amadeo Souza-Cardoso where you can find some of his painting. In Lisbon, CAM - Centro de Arte Moderna has a collection of 200 works of Amadeo. Don't miss it if you're an art lover!

October 20, 2011

Events to honor José Saramago held in New York

Founded on April 11, 2011, the Art Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes culture and showcases art from Portugal. It is a space that offers a creative environment for Portuguese artists in the field of art, literature, music, dance, and film. It promotes an innovative artistic dialogue between the many communities in New York and the Portuguese artists.
Arte Institute in collaboration with Pilar del Rio and director Miguel Gonçalves Mendes will promote a week of events to honor the Literature Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, José Saramago.

The feature film "José e Pilar" by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes is Portugal's Oscar 2011 Submission and will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This documentary shows the life of José Saramago, the Literature Nobel Prize winner and his wife Pilar del Rio. If you are in NY try to watch it because it's a wonderful film. Even if you never read anything from him you can still enjoy the movie. It's wonderful to see how José and Pilar were devoted to each other and how they worked together handling the pressure of public commitments and celebrating life and literature. You can also watch just as a touching portrait of two people in love.

I liked José Saramago's writing long before he was well known in the world as an accomplished writer. Just saw him once at a conference held after he won the Nobel Prize. He gave autographs and there were lots of people in line to get one so I could not say but a couple of words to him. Then we shook hands and it was all pretty exciting. He was a controversial figure mainly because he was a communist. He left Portugal and went to Spain after a disagreement with the Portuguese government of the time. Portuguese never understood or forgot that leaving. I really did not care because all I cared about was that he could feel comfortable to write more books! 

Here's what you can expect for the last October's week:

Readings and photo exhibition at Sonnabend Gallery; 
Iberian Screening (featuring Portuguese and Spanish short films) at Anthology Films Archives; 
A concert by Portuguese band Noiserv; 
Lectures at Instituto Cervantes and Rutgers University; 
Screening of the documentary "José & Pilar" at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 

Listen to José & Pilar OST and download Mp3 it if you like!

Artists from Barzil: Adriana Calcanhoto, Pedro Granato, Bruno Palazzo; Artists from Portugal: Camané, José Mário Branco, Noiserv,Luis Cilia, Pedro Gonçalves

Oficina do Alfredo - Lovely Portuguese toys made of wood

The place where wooden toys are made!
Meet Azimov, the wood robot with a heart!

Cute scooters made of wood!

Want to discover more? Go to Oficina dos Brinquedos blog!

Check also Facebook for more wooden work.

Wooden toys with love

Oficina do Alfredo is a family project. We use local sustainable resources and our manufacturing is characterized by handmade and small series.Our goal is to make genuine objects, made by people, with tools that help Man instead of replacing him. Creating soulful toys, wooden toys that can always be repaired and passed from generation to generation, and even become collector’s items. A child’s interaction with these toys opens the doors to their imagination, the possibility of personalizing and repairing them, awakens the creativity and sense of conscience that things shouldn’t all be disposable. Stimulating an ecological stance of conservation through play.

October 18, 2011

The ABC Book of Hand Critters - you can win one!

The ABC Book of Hand Critters is a cute book authored by Dyango Chavez Cutiño. This ABC book is packed with animals and unique creatures, from Alligator to Zebra, all created from the artist's hand. Discover an imaginative and unique way to teach the ABC's and inspire creativity. With a little imagination, a hand can become anything you dream, from the midday sun to the smile of the moon!
To learn more about the Hand Critters and see the complete collection you can go here and to learn more about Dyango and his work you can go here. How did I find him are you asking? Today I was in a quest for Halloween creatures at Zazzle and I found The Hand Critters! Yes, Dyango has a Zazzle store full of adorable products. It's called Hand Critters. Go there too, it's impossible to resist. Besides he's giving away two books. To learn how don't forget to click and visit his store. It's a Facebook contest, quite easy to enter. Just hurry up!

Halloween's greeting cards

"Halloween Magic" Greeting Card by artbyjaz
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We are moving quickly for Halloween! 

In Portugal Halloween's tradition is not very strong but each year is gaining more adherents. We call it Dia das Bruxas and this means Witches' Day.

I've had the pleasure of presenting a fantastic selection of Halloween parties' invitations already.Today I bring you an excellent selection of cards and postcards. As always I try to pick different things and styles. In my search I found the most wonderful artists. As we are all in the mood for Halloween I have no trick for you but I have a treat - I am tweeting each of this card and postcard selection! I hope it brings you more sales! If not ...Happy Halloween!

And don't forget you can join my Twitter too and let me now yours so I can join back:))

Halloween Witch (Orange) Cards card


Happy Halloween! card

Booh! postcard
Booh! by moonlit
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Hockey Mask Serial Killer Halloween Card card

Cool Halloween Card card
Cool Halloween Card by walstraasart
create card designs on Zazzle

OK, tweets sent! Happy Halloween and happy sales for you!
(This is just a sample of some of the tweets sent!)