Since they first appeared, 21 years ago, Luciana Martins and Gerson de Oliveira create works situated in the boundaries between design and art. Fearless to experiment and to open new paths, their aim is to make intelligent creations. Their objects are capable of conciliating concision with ability to surprise.
A chair hidden under a black cube is revealed only when it receives the user’s body; billiard balls are dislocated from their function in order to function as wall hangers; planes creating multiple paths: there are many examples within their production, instigating and confusing our perception, making our relationship with objects as not one of consumption (immediate use, so often alienated) but of fruition (which is not halted after the first contact but that, actually, presents new nuances as time goes by).
It is in this ability of offering more than its function, of playing with our perception and forcing us to think, of disturbing our parameters, where, to me, resides the artistic pulse of Ovo’s work, turning their objects and pieces of furniture in things to be used, but also to be seen and collected. To be kept – in that original sense of this verb; to preserve, to maintain, to conserve.
As instigating as they are on first sight, these pieces reveal themselves, through their use, as perfectly functional – and this is in the end another element of surprise; a confirmation that they do not forsake the fact of being design pieces. They are often mutant. They allow different compositions, configurations and dispositions, according to wishes and needs that change throughout the day or throughout life. In many of them, we see the unfolding of form and/or function. They might be on the floor or they might climb up the walls, and then go back to the ground again, acquiring new uses at each phase of their path.
Hangers, shelves, benches, tables, chairs and couches interchange their functions. They are hybrid, dynamic, flexible objects breaking the boundaries of classification. Freedom is also manifested in choices of materials. They stroll freely among metals (stainless steel, aluminum, iron . . .), woods (hardwood, laminated, mdf), fabrics, glasses, and acrylics. And, if they do not overuse colors, they do not leave them aside either.
Without resorting to Modernism’s asepsis, as so many have understood it, as a kind of ball and chain preventing flights and poetics, the pieces of furniture and objects developed by Luciana Martins and Gerson de Oliveira are clear in their thinking and in their construction; they search the right, synthetic and pure divine form they chose to name their studio, as profession of faith: Ovo, [which translates as “egg” in Portuguese]. Just like concise amazing haikus, they communicate contemporaneity and at the same time seem predestined to transcend the time when they were made.
* Adélia Borges is a critic, design historian and curator. She wrote Design + Craft: The Brazilian Path, 2011; an Designer não é Personal Trainer (A Designer is not a Personal Trainer), 2002, among other books. She directed Museu da Casa Brasileira (2003-2007) and worked as general curator of the Bienal Brasileira de Design (2010). She is a professor of design history at Faap and collaborates with many different publications as writer.
17 users love this project