Zé do Chalé [José Cândido dos Santos]

1903, Neópolis | SE - Brazil

2008, Neópolis | SE - Brazil

Already deceased artist, descendent from the Xocó Indians. He was born in Saúde, Neópolis County, and worked for many years as a foreman in Aracaju, Capital of Sergipe State, where he lived to his death. His nickname comes from his longstanding work as a builder. His link with the Xocó Indians community on the Island of São Pedro, on São Francisco River, which he used to visit every year and where he worked in his youth as a carpenter in building boats with his figureheads on their prows. He generally presented work on the vertical, in the geometric shaped, and even sometimes abstract.

Imaginations of a house builder, beyond the boundaries of an actual home, in creating dreamlike buildings, or “trophies”. He also carves the human figure: formal Indians, naked, with symmetric feather tangas and a westernized headdress , very similar to what he wears every day. The birds, leaves of plants, cross, star, half-moon, used sparingly and with balance, also appear with a symbolic value in the composition of his structures, generally on top of them. His work combines the Xocó ancestral legacy with the modernity of urban life.

Source: Little Dictionary of the Brazilian People’s Art – 20th Century, by anthropologist and poet Lélia Coelho Frota



Individual Exhibitions: 


2013 Zé do Chalé: a sculpture of the void, Galeria Estação, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2012-2013 Symbolic Geography of Zé do Chalé, Museu Théo Brandão, Maceio, AL, Brazil

2008 Zé do Chalé: owner of the arrow, Museu do Folclore, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil


Collective Exhibitions:


2019 Moderns and Eternals, Mosteiros de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2012 - 2013 Janete Costa "A Look", Museu Janete Costa, Niterói, RJ, Brazil

2009 Casa Brazil, Parque de Eventos Bento Gonçalves, Bento Golnçalves, RS, Brazil


Selected Publications:


2018 Brazilian outsider art: a contemporary wurvey, Vilma Eid, Germana Monte-Mór, publisher WMF Martins Fontes, pg 294, 295

2013 Zé do Chalé: a sculpture of the void, Cauê Alves e Vilma Eid, publisher Lis Gráfica, pg 11, 24, 26

2012 Janete Costa "A Look", Mario Santos, publisher Lis Gráfica, pg 24, 114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 122, 123


são paulo

Zé do Chalé | sculptor of the void

15.04.2013 - 30.05.2013
são paulo

Janete Costa: A Glance

16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013



Documentário - Zé do Chalé