Pico Pao is a workshop with a long history of craftsmanship that began in 1979 in Lubián, a small Spanish village nestled in the mountains on the border with Portugal. In the neighboring Portuguese county of Tras os Montes (“Beyond the Mountains”) the local woodpecker is known as Pico Pao (“Stick-Beak”). Here were made the first wooden replicas of old-fashioned toys, along with reproductions of the cameras used by the first street photographers and copies of traditional, pre-industrial looms. Over the years Javier Bermejo’s attention was increasingly drawn to a collection of old-fashioned toys and games, of which he salvaged hundreds – of both European and African origin – from oblivion. The newer games, which belong to the collection Ludus Ludi, are notable for their lack of rules; they can be seen more as exquisite raw materials for poetic experimentation, for the stimulation of abstract thought, for the interpretation of random discovery and for the playful enjoyment of the senses through direct contact with artistic objects.
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