Efrain Almeida


Oct 10 – Nov 24, 2007

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Paisagem [Landscape] by Efrain Almeida. His striking wooden sculptures are, this time, imbued with references to day-to-day household experience and feelings from his childhood in the cities of Boa Viagem and Olho d’Água dos Fecundos in the interior of Ceará State.

The imaginary of the Brazilian Northeast is blended with fairy tales in these small-scale artworks sculpted by the artist’s own hand. "They are small sculptures, like flashbacks of memory in which the images get smaller and smaller," Almeida says. Arranged in the same space are two female rabbits adorned with pink dresses, a series of thirty-two baby chicks, and three little nanny goats – a direct reference to Pablo Picasso’s sculptures – forming a menagerie frozen in a silent scene, charged with lyricisms, symbolisms and a certain tone of melancholy.

In the artworks Cadeira Bode [Billy-Goat Chair] and Banco Cabra [Nanny-Goat Stool], we find the sculpted feet of animals in place of the original seat of the chair and the stool – they are hybrid objects, which approximate the notions of functionality and art, "it’s the household metamorphosized." Also extracted from the elements that compose the landscape of his childhood, there is Casa Olho d’Água [Olho d’Água House], a miniature model true to the typical houses of the countryside. Taking himself as a physical and symbolic model, Efrain has created the artwork Mãos com Cabeça [Hands with Head], consisting of two hands holding a head with a carving of the artist’s face. In this latter artwork we see a recurring feature of Almeida’s poetics: the fragmentation of the body and omission of the members, generating artworks with a strong impact, inspired in the ex-votos found in the Catholic churches of the Brazilian Northeast. All of these artworks are made of umburana wood, brought directly from the lands of the artist’s parents in Ceará.

Paisagem enables the viewer to vicariously experience the artist’s memories. These artworks have arisen from "much reinterpreted impressions" that are not documentary, being nearly fictional; "they return to the viewer in search of complicity," as Moacir dos Anjos states, serving as triggers to activate the memories of those who contemplate them.

Efrain Almeida has participated over the last years in solo and group shows in museums and galleries in Brazil, the United States and Europe. In June 2007, his work was featured at a retrospective exhibition held at the Estação Pinacoteca in São Paulo.