Joana Vasconcelos

Posted by Vanea Cera on 28 12 2011 10:26 · in Art, Design, Portugal

Joana Vasconcelos is a Portuguese artist, born in Paris.
In a very young age returned with her parents to Portugal.

Inspired by the place that she lives: Lisbon, Vasconcelos uses the products and materials of the Portuguese daily life, creating pieces of art with themes that focus on politics of gender, kitsch and traditional Portuguese imagery, identity and class in a very strong and dominant way mixing nostalgia and irony. She force us to think about the taboos of the female sexuality, the place of women or the consumer’s society and culture.

Her work is mainly made on a large scale for galleries and public art spaces with materials from daily basis all made with a meticulous craftsmanship.
Joana’s work is exhibited around the world in a number of group shows and many solo shows.

The Bride

This is one project that made many people blush and others laugh.
“A Noiva” translated as “The Bride”, in a first look, it looks like a normal and elegant chandelier but in fact it’s not.
“The Bride” is a 5 meter-high piece made from around 25.000 tampons, wire and cotton thread.


His a sculpture composed by six foam mannequins (half men, half female) bound physically by plastic handcuffs and allure to the binding nature of matrimony.
The title of this piece is a wordplay “Esposas” in Portuguese means wives and in Spanish it means handcuffs.

Piano Dentelle

This is an all covered piano with hand made Portuguese crochet. This piece required a big amount of time and meticulous skills of craftsmanship.

Independent Heart

Is an installation of three colored pieces hang suspended within a velvet-lined room with Portuguese Fado music. The 3 hearths composition was inspired in the Portuguese philately jewelery in reshaped plastic cutlery.

The symbology in this pieces is evident.
The “Red Independent Heart” represents Fado, love and feelings; the “Golden Independent Heart”, gold and Portuguese tradition and the “Black Independent Heart” dead, pain and suffering.


Varina is a public space installation suspended in D. Luís I Bridge in Porto.
The name Varina is given to the women how sell fish in the markets and streets of Porto dressed with their typical seven layered skirts.

The piece haves 35 x 15 meters. It took six months and almost 1000 women to knit it and haves a weight of 500kg.


Contamination is the biggest exhibition that Joana Vasconcelos did so far.
Specially conceived for the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the pieces interacts with the architecture from celling to ground.

Composed buy a mass of fabric elements made from garish fabrics and knitting in crochet, velvet and other materials, embellished with tassels, crystals and beads is a riotous patchwork of patterns, textures, materials and found objects sewn together.


This is a two piece sculpture with 297x155x410cm finely executed with hundreds of stainless steel pan covers, lids and cement.

Marilyn sculpture was inspired by Marilyn Monroe clip “The Seven Year Itch” walking in a air vent.

Joana Vasconcelos

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