Friday, February 13, 2009

Mestre Vitalino from O Alto Do Moura, Brazil

Mestre Vitalino was a ceramic artist in the NorthEastern part of Brazil, a region beleaguered by either droughts or floods, feast or famine, rich in folklore... Vitalino achieved recognition through the figures he created that told the stories of the region. He taught his family how to work the clay and soon the whole neighborhood began copying his figurines. The artists from Alto do Moura are visited by collectors and dealers from around the world. The videos below are in Portuguese and give an idea of the life of these artisans.

Vitalino's son (he kind of goes on and on...) :

I, Rachel, had the honor to visit this place in the early 1980's. I met Vitalino's son (he went on and on then, too, but was very nice). There was a woman raging in another room, full of sorrow. I asked him who that was. "Oh. That's my mother. She kind of lost it when my Dad died and never recovered...." The reminder that behind every craft, there truly is a life.