Artist

Zézinho de Tracunhaém

Zézinho Trucunhaém
Pietá

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Biography

Zézinho de Tracunhaém
[Saturnino José Joaquim da Silva Xavier]
1939, Vitória de Santo Antão - PE

His name is long and fanciful – Saturnino José Joaquim da Silva Xavier – but everyone knows him as Zézinho de Tracunhaém, both in Brazil and abroad.
Born in Vitória de Santo Antão (PE), in 1939, He worked in a farm in Nazaré da Mata (PE) and was a bricklayer in the city. His life hasn’t been easy. With nine children to support, he’s been trough rough times. “Everything I know I learned with God. In 1958, still in Nazaré da Mata, I started modeling popular figures in clay. In 1966 I had my first exhibition, in the local library. When I came to Tracunhaém, I met saint makers and so the saints entered my life”.
His four sons – Carlos, Nildo, Fernando e Claúdio – help him with the artistic work.
Today Zézinho sculpts saints and other sacred figures, life size and bigger. He has simplified the curves and details of the baroque to generate a clean style.
His wife, Maria Marques da Silva, started playing with clay in her time off from housework. “I have my own style. I like making pretty ladies, and they’ve been exhibited many times. I make them because I enjoy it”. The dolls appear full of grace and charm in the middle of the masculine universe of the workshop. “So people know it’s me, I sign Maria of Zézinho”.

In the Name of the Author: craft artists from Brazil | Beth Lima e Valfrido Lima - Proposta Editorial, 2008.




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