Frans Kracjberg, now in his ninety-first year, was born in Poland. But he’s been in Brazil for more than sixty of them, and became a citizen well over half-a-century ago, so I think there’s some justification for the country to claim him as its own.
Kracjberg’s passion for the preservation of the environment has heavily impacted his lifestyle and invades every part of his work. In the 1950’s, he spent much of the time in a cave in a remote part of Minas Gerais. There, living alone, without creature comforts, and bathing only in the local river, he produced etchings and stone carvings.
But it was only in 1964, that he first began to produce the kind of work for which he subsequently became famous.
Sculptures in wood.
Since 1974, he’s been living in a tree house, some twenty-three feet above the ground, in the small town of Nova Viçosa, in the southern part of the state of Bahia.
In his extensive garden of almost 1.2 square kilometers of Atlantic rainforest and mangrove swamp, Kracjberg has planted more than 10,000 seedlings of native varieties of plants. And, on those same grounds, there are two pavilions, like the one below, containing more than three hundred works by the artist. Four more buildings are planned. And the whole composes a museum that bears his name.
Recently, the artist has been taking up photography.
But his theme has never varied. He continues to be concerned with the willful destruction of the rainforest - as illustrated by this, one of his recent prints:
Never heard of Kracjberg?
If that is so, then I’m most pleased to have been able to introduce you to him.