June 17 to July 17, 2004
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present the third solo exhibition of sculpture by Brazilian artist, Efrain Almeida. Using cedar, he hand-carves sculptures that are rooted in the traditional folk objects made by craftsmen in Northeastern Brazil. Drawing from the so called low-culture, Almeida is more interested in exploring form as a psychological symbol often imbuing the objects with an anthropomorphic presence.
Almeida’s iconography and materials suggest an underlying theme of fragility of the body on its journey through life. In one work, a budding branch extends from the wall while along side it a figure rises from a blossom. This direct tie to nature, not only suggested by the material selected but also in the merging forms of human body and flower, creates a connection between earth and man, sexuality and reproduction. In another work, biomorphic shapes flow in and out of a pair of houses. Here Almeida operates through suggestion, a coupling yet still individual, an insinuation of feelings but still distant. Based on memories and thoughts, his works are in a sense a self-portrait that transcends from a personal experience to a universal one.