The Daily Heller: Stoned-Faced Dudes

Posted inThe Daily Heller

Portuguese illustrator Bernardo Baghulho, whose bespoke rubber stamps were featured in Friday’s Daily Heller, also created the mysterious “Pedras Rolantes” (translated as “Rolling Stones”), a series of stone masks installed in the ancient city of Évora‘s sidewalks.

Produced in the old slaughterhouse of Évora, in the Pó de Vir a Ser Cultural Association, the first edition of 13 pieces was completed in 2019 with the know-how of sculptor Pedro Fazenda. The second edition, consisting of 14 sculptures, arrived in 2021. Both series were included in Évora’s public arts festival, Artes à Rua.

Baghulho, who has been studying at a School of Visual Arts (SVA) summer residency in New York City for the past few weeks, noted, “These 27 sculptures are made out of Estremoz and Borba’s marble, a raw material of the region.”

This may sound (and is) foreign to those of us who know little of Portuguese art, culture and craft, but the pieces below, which Baghulho collected into a self-published booklet, are stunning examples of public art and naturalist beauty. I publish them here for the aesthetic joyfulness (a virtue we need so much these days).

“After their conception in the workshop,” Baghulho explains, “these stone masks went on to infiltrate 27 corners of the cityʼs public space with the help and knowledge of urban pavers.”

Each of these sculptures is an invitation to discover, record and imagine its story—to see and experience the city’s public space as if it were an open book, illustrated in stone.