Pedro Barrail | "El Castor" Tattoo Stool, 2008 | Cedar, pyrogravure
Pedro Barrail
Pedro Barrail | "Shoot" Tattoo Breakfast Table, 2010 | Cedar, pyrogravure
Pedro Barrail
Pedro Barrail

Pedro Barrail

Born in Asunción, Paraguay, 1964; lives and works in Asunción, Paraguay

The brilliant observation that “Man invents words to lie to himself…” was made by the Paraguayan/Spanish poet Josefina Pla. Her words reflect our capacity to create “fictions” that guide us to our own “truth.” As such, I am driven to ask questions and make observations about society’s behaviors by means of design, art, and architecture. I do this without passing judgment, commenting on only what affects me, and viewers draw their own conclusions about the work. The questions I ask define the discipline and medium used in my responses. Since everything is valid, what will be most appropriate for the subject at hand. My series of furniture with indigenous pyrography initiated a dialogue between contemporary design, academic history, and indigenous design that is based in tradition, ingenuity, and intuition. We developed the tattoo designs during conversations with the master craftsmen of the Pai Tavytera tribe—we began by cross-pollinating via an exchange of information, and the resulting images capture quotidian realities and comment on issues of mass consumption. Engraved with fire, these works also represent the conflict between ecology and commerce, since tribal members, alleged guardians of the ecosystem, must use large amounts of vegetal coal to burn their designs, to register their reality, and to sell themselves. Everything is commerce.

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