Introduced to Braescher's pictures, their careful selection, so full of colors and aesthetic refined sense, I've recognized the emotion. As asked to reflect on it, I've connected immediately to the first encounter memory of this so special place...
I first visited Punta del Diablo in the summer of 2007 at the suggestion of some Argentinian friends. They were considering putting money into a house, a guesthouse or an investment of some kind in the well-established resort town to the south, Punta del Leste. Finding few options there, we broadened our horizons. Because Punta del Diablo lies on the largely ignored route to Brazil, we went without much expectation.
It was enchantment at first sight. Turning off the highway and entering this village on a beach, the location´s particular subtleties were immediately apparent in the architecture which is treated with genuine affection.
We had just come from La Barra, a haven of charming architecture well-integrated with nature and brimming with sensible, attractive designs that respond to the coastal groves. Driving the 180 kilometers of country road had refreshed our senses like water cleanses your palette between wines, and upon turning down the road toward the ocean we began to see the same responsiveness in design, and most strikingly in the houses: essential, colorful, simple, cozy and, above all, free of elements that would restrict engagement with the beach. Few walls intrude on this loving and tranquil integration of buildings and their relatively untouched settings – the well-preserved dunes and vegetation typical of this latitude.
Small buildings and habitations predominate, and all are well-considered architecture. They are cottages by definition, with exterior spaces arranged for day-to-day activities. And they are expressive. Nearly every one wears a jovial expression – in their colors, their materials and their openings.
This is the source of the town´s enchantment. With cottages arranged in a variety of manners on their 500 square-meter lots, boundaries become meaningless and the whole reads as one assemblage. The resulting dialog with millions of square meters, the entire beach itself, renounces barriers that would otherwise subdivide, deform and impoverish these precious few meters of beachfront. The homes and inns nest themselves in a fabric that shifts between urban and rural, and always at human proportions. In most of these can be seen the considered care that their owners and occupants expend to magnify their cottage´s identity and the warm-hearted aspects which reflect good living - much as do the flip-flops, Bermuda shorts and T-shirts that are the summer fashion in Punta del Diablo.
What´s more, their design solutions are free for anyone to use! Born from a scarcity of commercial resources, they draw on the intelligence of antique technology and connect us to our collective memory of the scale of the human hand.
As much as we praise great architecture and grand achievements, the skyscrapers and the effects of cosmopolitan buildings around the world, it is always surprising how a small village can reveal our essential sentiments. In this way, Punta del Diablo calls to a broad range of builders and architects, both anonymous and renowned, to come realize their ambitious dreams.
Each lane and garden is redolent with affection for that little village. You can breathe in an air of creative freedom that elsewhere remains in short supply. It has an aesthetic that touches us through just that sense of freedom to enjoy what we have this world. And guilt free! With the sand between your toes, beneath the open sky . . .
Braescher masterfully captures this sentiment in the forms and colors of his subjects, and in a way that allows us to submerge ourselves in this unique ambiance. His art reveals art, and depicts for us the invisible.