June 6, 2018, JOURNAL

WILLIAN FARIAS

THE BRAZIL-BORN JEWELLERY DESIGNER SQUARES CONCRETISM AT DESIGN MIAMI



TEXT & IMAGES BY PLAY HUNTER


Willian Farias, Designer I © Play Hunter I @play_hunter I Playlust.net I 2018

Willian Farias is a Brazilian jewellery designer and visual artist. The first thing you notice about him is his arresting looks and locks and how they merrily defy age and binary gender norms. Willian is unabashed in his love for eclectic style staples and could get away or to the opera dressed in sackcloth. Picture King Charles II replete in ornate Rick Owens and leather havaianas.

A citizen of the world, Willian is currently residing in Zurich. Why Switzerland, the dullest of dull countries, when it comes to fashion? Love. At first sight. Literally. Ach. It happened 17 years ago. En route to Italy, he and his partner had a stopover in Zurich. Outside the main station, clean Swiss air and a radiant early Summer’s day greeted the couple. Transfixed, Willian exclaimed: “Stop, look at the people, look at the light. I want to live here.” And so, eventually, they did. A smart move.


Willian Farias, Designer I © Play Hunter I @play_hunter I Playlust.net I 2018

Here’s why: both Brazil and Switzerland share a strong heritage in modernist design, architecture and art. Farias, who has studied all three disciplines, mentions a particularly strong Swiss connection: Max Bill. With his 1951 retrospective at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MASP), the Bauhaus-trained designer, painter, architect and founder of concrete art had a huge impact on Brazilian postwar art. Especially on the emerging concretismo scene in Rio. Key exponents included Austrian emigré sculptor Franz Weissmann who would later co-found the Brazilian Neo-Concrete Movement.

Farias received his artistic foundation at the School of Visual Arts Parque Lago in Rio. Located in an eclectic mansion that sits right underneath Christ the Redeemer and is surrounded by a lavish park, the art school is pretty peerless: it is free, open to people from diverse backgrounds and multidisciplinary. Willian attended the internationally renowned problem solving and creative thinking course run by educator and lecturer Charles Watson. The Scotsman encourages students to radically question norms of thinking and creating. He takes them to trips abroad where they have the opportunity to go to museums and galleries and meet other artists (including big shots like Jeff Koons).



Willian Farias, Designer I © Play Hunter I @play_hunter I Playlust.net I 2018

At this year’s edition of Design Miami in Basel, Willian will present two neo-concretist inspired plexiglass and steel pieces in luminous red and neon yellow for Mercado Moderno Gallery. Simple lines, polydimensional shapes and vivid coulours provide a framework tying together the real and the imaginary. The São Paulo based gallery will be showing them alongside modernist Brazilian furniture by Joaquim Tenreiro, Martin Eisler, Carlo Hauner, Zanine Caldas and a contemporary work by Hugo França.

Take a seat.


Willian Farias, Designer I © Play Hunter I @play_hunter I Playlust.net I 2018

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