(this page was last updated in August 2023)
Matinha, Brazil, 1959
Lives and works in Matinha, Brazil
Represented by Lima galeria
PIPA Prize 2023 nominee
Eusimar Meireles Gomes, also known as Zimar, is a brincante of Cazumbá do Bumba meu boi (or Boi-Bumbá), where he embodies the character through the use of “caretas,” or “masks,” created to adorn the figures that carry a large dress with embroidered and colorful ornaments and carry a bell in their hand – usually a cowbell. While accompanying the Bumbas meu boi from his city, the artist creates the caretas – also called “queixos” – that transform the revelers into magical beings of indescribable expression, combining sharp humor and awe. His practice began with the observation of the ergonomics of some masks and their discomfort on the faces of the revelers, after the artist was injured by one of them.
Through the skillful handling of various materials found in different places – especially PVC, sawdust, bones, discarded pieces of helmets, motorcycles and bicycles – Zimar produces distinct caretas that nevertheless maintain a unique language among themselves. “It is at night, in my dreams, that I see the caretas, and also on the walls; I see them in the stains and marks of time, which resemble animals. Mold reveals images of monstrous faces,” in his own words.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2023:
In 2022, Zimar held a solo exhibition dedicated to his caretas at the Centro Cultural Vale Maranhão in São Luís. The exhibition titled ZIMAR is comprised of 65 works from different periods and distinct materials – a collection that reveals the singularity and elastic capacity of his practice, as well as his deep dedication to the Bumba meu boi play. He also participated in the group exhibition Arqueia mas não quebra, the first edition of the Contra-Flecha program, at the Almeida & Dale Gallery in São Paulo.