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Exhibition Catalogue: José Bezerra in Belo Horizonte | 26/05/2010

From the Catimbau valley in Buíque, in the sertão of Pernambuco state, the sculptures by José Bezerra travel with me to Madrid, Spain. Our story started when I saw a picture of his ranch, the place where he works and lives with his family. Immediately I felt I had to visit this place. The picture showed a man with a gourd on his head, in the role of a hat, and also a checked vest with wooden buttons and a few sewn “ropes” as adornments. From the buttons to the ropes, everything was made by the man himself, it later emerged. He was sitting in front of a wattle and daub house with small incrusted stones forming drawings. Beside, a large expanse of land, a real open-air museum, full of tree trunks and also branches converted into sculptures. All this had an incredible impact on me! I was decided and, even though my pernambucano friends had warned me about the distance, the difficulty of access, especially in the rainy season when this location was almost impassable, I rented a taxi and off I went. I shall always remember our first meeting. After this, only 2 years ago, I went back to Catimbau on several occasions and, every time, the diversity and quantity of the sculptures was impressive. The photo that I had seen was entirely truthful. A magical place! A unique man! An extraordinary artist! I was so bowled over and felt so emotional that showing his work in São Paulo, at the Art Madrid and wherever else was possible, became yet another mission for the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People (IIPB). The entry of Rodrigo Naves, his enthusiasm in the light of Bezerra’s work and his acceptance of the invitation to be the curator of the exhibition gave the project the size it deserved. The result is here. Simple, direct, valorous, important – just like the sculptor José Bezerra! Enjoy!

Vilma Eid

Galeria Estação