Family Borges

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Woodcuts by the Borges Family

Artist and poet José Francisco Borges is Brazil's best-known folk artist working in the wood-cut medium, and his work has been exhibited all over the world. But he comes out of a long tradition of folk poet/artists who publish their own work in the form of small (generally about 6" by 9") cheap chap-books or pamphlets written in verse, known as folhetos. They are also known as literatura de cordel after the way vendors sell them in the marketplace, hanging over a string. This tradition (including the work of Borges) is described in detail by Candace Slater in her book Stories on a String. Other artists working in the folheto woodcut medium include José's sons, José Miguel da Silva and Ivan Borges, his brother Amaro Francisco Borges, his nephews, Givanildo and Severino, Marcelo Soares, and Abrao Batista of Juareiro do Norte in Ceara state.

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