Efrain Almeida

Oct 29 – Dec  4, 2004

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Efrain Almeida's new work. The artist is showing, in gallery 2, six wood sculptures that depict a flock of swans in flight. Each of the swans, which Almeida has sculpted by hand, appears in a different stage of flight: some with their wings fully open, others with their wings closed.

Full of a lyrical meaning, Efrain Almeida's work asks, in a subtle and silent way, questions about the body, sexuality, and religion. Almeida frequently uses images from nature, the worlds of myth and religion, and popular culture, following a strategy that allies a craftsman's skill with formal questions of contemporary art-particularly in relation to the use of the exhibition space.

The choice of swans as the subject of these new sculptures came from the artist's interest in the fantastic universe of fairy tales. Coming across an old edition of "The Wild Swans" by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, Almeida began to research the symbolic significance of these animals. In Greek mythology, swans symbolize eroticism, since they are the only birds who have an external phallus. For their shyness and mystery, they are also associated with the figure of the artist. This trail of metaphors and associations is Almeida's primary interest. He looks to release from a simple image-swans in flight-the greatest number of possible readings in the spectator. In this sense, Almeida tries to relate with everyone's private repertory.

Efrain Almeida has in recent years participated in countless solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in Brazil, the United States, and Europe.