Guilherme de Faria, Brazilian (1942 - )
Guilherme de Faria has a remarkable artistic career, which began in the late 1950s. From the 1960s to the 80s he became one of the worlds most sought after engravers, with nearly 200,000 metal and lithograph engravings sold.
He has also worked in various other genres including aquatint, aqua forte, nankeen, water colors, posters and, especially oils, highly valued by avid collectors in Brazil and abroad.
His featured themes include horses, bulls and languid women in belle époque attire or no attire at all. When asked what she was wearing when posing for a photograph, Marilyn Monroe replied, "I was wearing my Chanel Number 5."
The women in Guilherme de Faria's engravings and paintings could have replied the same.
His sensitive line and color give the impression of a facile brush stroke, but the facility, the ease belies a complex composition, a master skill of tone, theme and texture.
After completing the engraving cycle, Guilherme de Faria turned to expressionistic oils, which were exhibited in Germany, Switzerland and other countries under the curatorship of Annaliese von Himmelsterna, the brilliant German gallery director from Hamburg. At a later phase he became more romantic and produced figures of soft women in wheat fields that reminded one of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. His landscapes later assume a more staccato style with brilliant strokes of color in compositions that defied reality but never defied the laws of harmony, just as the Fibonacci code presents a mathematical sequence of numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 (each new number found be adding the previous two), which is also found in the petals of roses, the golden rectangle, the height and width of the Acropolis, and in Mr. Dan Brown‘s "The Da Vinci Code".
Faria is now concerned with another type of harmony-the verses, stanzas, strophes and rhyme scheme of literature de cordel, folhetos, which he has been writing for the past four years. Many people do not know that Northeastern Brazilian balladeers and ‘cantadores de literatura de cordel‘ have created innovative rhyme schemes, some with names like ‘beira mar‘ and ‘galope a beira mar,‘ which I collected in tape for the Library of Congress.
Faria illustrates the chapbook covers with a style that is both primitive and harmonious; he writes the verses, prints them, illustrates the wooden boxes (in esthetic golden rectangles) and recites the verses in true cordel style. Anyone interested in seeing examples of his amazing folhetos, illustrations and boxes can find them at Alameda Tiete 43 at a store called 50+, at the edge of a small shopping mall at the corner of Padre Joao 50+Manoel and Alameda Tiete.
He is now becoming globalized and is translating verses into English in bi-lingual editions. His chapbooks can be purchased in lovely wooden boxes illustrated with his remarkable simple yet complex designs inspired by the woodcut artists of the Northeast. And if you are lucky to meet him there he might even recite a verse or two or three or four. Make sure you look at his lovely engravings in the best cordel tradition.