Visions of Tiles

This week it’s all about artists. We’re bringing you three distinct talents with ties to tile and the wonderful works they’ve welcomed into the world. Today the spotlight is on Adriana Varejão, a Brazilian artist with a habit of highlighting tiles across many marvellous medias.

The Specialist (2009)

Up close and personal with ceramic-encased interiors, Varejão’s Saunas and Baths series strings together a sequence of spaces head to toe in tile, making up a variety of mostly monochromatic scenes. Deeply detailed and layered in meaning, each image elicits a somewhat spooky, psychologically loaded vision of life in these empty, repetitive rooms.

The Dreamer (2006)
Budapeste II (2013-2018)

Amongst her sculptures are Varejão’s Jerked-Beef Ruins, a diverse array of large fragments designed to imitate sections of tiled interiors. These architectural remnants sit as eerie reminders of an imagined ‘modern’ past with marbled flesh holding up the remaining structure, hidden and obscured by tiles.

Linda de Lapa (2004)
Cordovil Jerked-beef Ruin (2002)

Greatly inspired by the many faces of Brazilian culture, from lost traditions to European colonisation, Varejão’s pieces demonstrate layers of perspective, identity, and experience, often with a hint of menace. This mix is explored with much diversity in her Seas and Tiles works. Blood red and rippled with cracked tile work, Carnívoras displays a range of large-scale carnivorous plants whilst Tea and Tiles II depicts an illusion of a ‘civilised’ scene, sat against a bold blue backdrop. This backdrop, and the view itself can only be viewed head-on, and is disrupted by any other vantage point.

Drosera aliciae, filiformis e Sarracenia purpurea (2012)
Tea and Tiles II (1997)

With decades of incredible artworks to cover, we’ve only space for a select few, so if you’re after more head here.

Adriana Varejão

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, February 2023.

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