Remember the scene from Midnight in Paris, when Owen Wilson-as-Gil Pendergast-as-Woody Allen goes to the Surrealist wedding party? These new pieces from the Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana are decked out in all manner of animal-themed juxtaposition, and I can’t help but imagine that they came straight from that particular fête.
In reality, the pieces in Campanas new exhibit, Campana Brothers: Concepts, were born out of the duo’s affinity for random artifacts: wood scraps, stuffed animals (both of the plush and taxidermy variety), and collected cardboard. Humberto loves minerals and crystals so much that he amassed a rock collection, which eventually materialized into the Ametista glass cabinet piece.
The brothers’ signature festivity is on full display in Concepts, as is their trademark social awareness. Children of rural Brazil who grew up under a military dictatorship, the Campanas have consistently created work that has a makeshift and resourceful aesthetic to it. They’re never short on cultural relevance, and this exhibit is no exception. The aforementioned Ametista cabinet has amethysts sourced from São Paulo. To make the Pirarucu cabinet, the brothers settled on sustainably harvested, tanned, and leathered skin from the Pirarucu fish. And the Detonado chair’s seat and backing were crafted from scraps of caning left over from artisan repair work.
The most ardent–and Surrealist–pieces are the sofa and chair made of stuffed leather alligators. While not exactly cozy pieces for anyone’s den, they were crafted in collaboration with OrientVida, a Brazilian nonprofit that sources work to underprivileged women.
Campana Brothers: Concepts will run at the Friedman Benda gallery in New York until July 3.