Roberto Burle Marx Landscapes

Monteiro garden
Monteiro garden

Classic Roberto Burle Marx Landscapes

I have been studying photos I shot of Roberto Burle Marx landscapes. They tell the story of a renaissance man mining inspiration, from modernist art and the deep roots of Brazilian fauna and culture.

Sitio front door
Sitio front door

Roberto Burle Marx landscapes design gave him international recognition. He was the first landscape architect to have a retrospective show in Museum of Modern Art, 1991.

Pianist, plant collector, painter, garden designer and much more

But Burle Marx had a lot of other creative interests that he excelled in. He painted on canvas, wood and large swaths of cloth in a modernist post cubist style which had bold colors and tropical forms. He worked in ceramics and tiles. He was a pianist and trained singer. He was a plant collector and would dive deep into the Amazon region searching and learning about the rich Brazilian fauna. He was strong, energetic, forceful and a great entertainer. His birthday’s were celebrated with ornate sculptural decorations which he would actively direct and adjust.

Front door reception room Front door reception room

When Denise Otis, House and Garden editor, and I visited him to photograph his home and creative retreat, Sitio; it was scheduled close to one of his birthdays. There was lots of pre party activity, with different floral sculptures of Brazilian style being created throughout the property.. The extraordinary New York florist Ronaldo Maia, also Brazilian, a good friend of Burle Marx, facilitated our visit as well as the beautiful preparations.

Front garden Fountain
Front garden Fountain

Roberto had project of various kinds going on all over the property. There were extensive collections of plants he had collected and was propagating. High above the house and garden was the a collection of stones and pillars. Roberto was hoping to make a temple like folly with a wonderful view across a broad valley. There were easels set up with canvases in the process of being painted; stacks of tiles of various strong colors for a wall piece he was creating on. Ever so often he would stop at an old grand piano standing in the reception lounge and play.

Preparations for birthday party
Preparations for birthday party www.mickhales/interiors

The photos are all part of my present work to make them available to the public and collectors. My print site is growing and represents some wonderful gardens around the world, many of which are no longer existing.

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