Henrique Oliveira’s Powerful Recycled Wood “Tridimensional” Sculptures Burst Through Gallery Walls

by , 08/31/14

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Henrique Oliveira, recycled art, reclaimed wood, recycled plywood, plywood sculpture, tridimensionals

Initially a painter, Oliveira was inspired by an old wooden fence he saw through his window across the street from his studio in Sao Paulo. The wood was so weathered that it split into layers, which Oliveira equated to brush strokes. From that day, the artist began collecting old weathered fences from construction sites and transforming them into his inspiring ‘tridimensionals’. He peels the weathered layers off of the fences as they decay, collecting slivers of different colors, shapes and sizes.

The plywood fences are quite common in the city of Sao Paulo, which Oliveira says is consistently under construction. Construction companies use the plywood because it is inexpensive, and they replace it every few months when the elements break it down. Rather than letting the damaged fences go to waste, Oliveira peels off layers of wood and uses the pieces as ‘brush strokes’ to form his large-scale installations. As he secures each strip, the layers build up and create organic curves and coils that burst out of walls and wind through space in amorphous forms. From afar, they can appear to be soft and smooth, but a closer look will find a series of raw edges that guarantee a splinter upon the touch.

Oliveira has created an eco-friendly body of work using a unique process and style which treats discarded wood as if it were strokes of paint.  Seeing the beauty in the damaged, he gives worn pieces of wood new life. .

+ Henrique Oliveira

Via Jay Mug

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1 Comment

  1. greentopia January 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    If Henrique Oliveira is shipping his plywood all the way from Sao Paulo’s high-rise or sprawl projects that are using their cheaply procured virgin plywood like toilet paper, could more of the focus on his work be on the plywood industry’s nasty and heartless use of illegal and unsustainable timber – in Brazil and beyond.

    I have seen Henrique’s work in Boulder Colorado and I really love his style and work. Even though it’s stunning and gorgeous, and even though he seems like a good guy, his masterpieces pain me.

    How much of Henrique Oliveira’s Brazilian plywood is made from virgin forest wood from the Amazon rainforest? Hopefully it was plywood made from wood that was certified as sustainably harvested. However, Greenpeace has released the report that talks about the plywood sector’s global use of illegal and unsustainable timber. The World Wildlife Fund says illegal and unsustainable logging is a key driver of forest destruction and contributes up to one
    fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions.

    I also hope this “reused” industrial plywood turned art is not contaminated by with industrial construction chemicals at the job sites, or made with poisonous glues and paints. If this plywood is a bit toxic, we art lovers and the curators may be paying an un-healthy price for our ecological naivety.

    Although Sao Paulo is a city celebrated for its ultra polluted air, Sao Paulo environmental sloppiness is also fast and furiously helping slay our global climate and crucial ecosystems. Some of Henrique’s beautiful plywood with a beautiful wood grain was probably used to make the unsustainable concrete and steel buildings, and unsustainable sprawl being thrown up by the big money and greedy factions of Sao Paulo.

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