Porfírio Mendes 2024-03-01T15:34:45+00:00

Porfirio Mendes (b. 1967) is a construction worker, turned artist by accident.
During breaks between occasional work, he dedicated his time to building the house where he lives, in the town of Palme (Barcelos). Once the project was completed, he started using his diverse skills by building small stone mills with complex mechanical systems that worked like real ones.
After having captured the attention of his neighbors, he quickly reached a wider audience, which allowed him to see in this activity a second source of income. He then started to use all his free time to create the most diverse sculptures, reproducing on a reduced scale buildings such as churches, watermills or granaries, in addition to the aforementioned windmills. Likewise, he was building functional objects in wrought iron, such as tables, chairs or weathervanes. Between 2001 and 2003, he sold these types of works to those who passed by his house. 

Later on, with the business decreasing, he began making figures of Galos de Barcelos [Rooster of Barcelos] from cork, all from bottle stoppers, which were quickly sold in the region’s popular fairs and at the Barcelos Artisans Association store. From there to the construction of other dolls, always using cork stoppers as raw material, was a short step.
In this way, he created a unique imaginary world, with a well-defined identity, of naïf expression, made up of figures representing the local rural environment or the domain of the fantastic, very popular in the Minho region. Roosters, devils, witches, saints, musicians, hunters, blacksmiths, lumberjacks, among many figures, then became part of his creative body.

See interview with Porfírio Mendes on the website
De Ana a Zé – Arte Popular Portuguesa

All works exhibited are available for online purchase.
If you are interested please contact us.

Other works by Porfírio Mendes can be seen at:
Exhibition “Vade Retro”