José Francisco Borges (born in Bezerros, December 20, 1935), better known as J. Borges, is a woodcut artist and a maker of literatura de cordel (popular art consisting of small handcrafted leaflets with local poetry and drawings). At the age of eight, the boy José Francisco already cultivated land with his father. At the age of ten, he already made and sold wooden spoons at the local street market. He went on to be a potter, a handcrafted toy maker and a cordel salesman. By the age of 29, José decided he would write cordel. This is when he wrote The Encounter of Two Cowboys in the Petrolina Hinterland with woodcuts by Mestre Dila, selling more than five thousand issues in two months. Since he had no money to pay for an illustrator, J. Borges decided to do it himself: he started to cut on wood the façade of the Bezerros church, which he used in The True Warning of Frei Damião. Ever since then, he started to make arrays to order and to illustrate the more than 200 cordelleafletsthat he launched along his life. Discovered by collectors and marchands, he witnessed his work being taken to the academic circles of this country. In the 1970s, J. Borges illustrated the cover of The Walking Words, by Eduardo Galeano, and his woodcuts were used for the opening vignettes of the novel Roque Santeiro, presented by the Globo TV Network. By then he started to engrave larger arrays not associated withcordel. This allowed him to exhibit abroad: in 1992, in the Stähli Gallery in Zurich, and in the Santa Fe Popular Art Museum, in New Mexico. Afterwards, other exhibits were held in Europe and the United States. His woodcuts are printed in large quantities and several sizes, sold to intellectuals, artists and art collectors. He is the creator of his own technique of coloring images, and meets requests to depict the poor man’s daily life, the cangaço (popular resistance movement), love, the punishments of Paradise, the mysteries, miracles, crimes and corruption, popular play activities, religiousness and playful criticism, always in the spirit of the Northeastern people.
Size: 55 x 85 cm.
Price: R$ 450.00.