Friday, June 18, 2010

The long tradition of Tlaquepaque Mexican Presidents figurines

Last month a very good friend of mine and owner of one of the best collections on Mexican Folk Art asked me to help him complete his collection of Vintage Tlaquepaque Mexican Presidents figurines. In the past I had seen them on museums and books like "Ceramica Mexican pottery of the 20th Century" but I had never own one. My friend had in his collection 22 figurines dating fromt he 1930's and 1940's with presidents from the 1910's (Porfirio Diaz) to the 1940s's. So my task was to help him find the rest of the presidents from the 1940's to todays (that makes up another 33 Presidents!!!).
Making some research with my friends and contacts in Museums of Mexico, I was able to find the Nunez (Nuñez) family in Tlaquepaque Mexico. The main living artists of this family are Margarito Nuñez (80 years old) and Pilar Nuñez (daugther of Margarito Nuñez). Between the 2 of them have been keeping the tradition of making Mexican Presidents, a tradition that started Margarito Nuñez Panduro (father of Margarito Nuñez) back in the 1915. But this tradition of making figurines did not started with the series of "Mexican Presidents", actually the tradition started with Margaritos grand grand father Pantaleon Panduro (the guy in the black and white photo). Master Pantaleon (1830-1912) its a folk art legend from the late 1800's, and actually there it is a museum and a street with his name in Tlaquepaque Mexico. Pantaleon its father of Maura Panduro, Maura its the mother of Margarito Nuñez Panduro, Margarito is father of Margarito Jr and Margarito Jr its the father of Pilar.
Getting back to the "Mexican Presidents" Margarito Nuñez Panduro in 1915 started with the figurine of Mexican President "Benito Juarez" and as time went by he keep adding and adding more presidents till his death, the last Mexican President that he made was Adolfo Lopez Mateos. Margarito Nuñez Jr (now 80 years old) keep the tradition and he added the next presidents as time has gone from President "Ruiz Cortinez" to current Mexican President "Felipe Calderon". Pilar, daughter of Margarito saw that before Benito Juarez there where also many other presidents!, so she now completed the collection from the First Mexican Emperor once Mexico became independent from Spain adding up another 30 presidents and 2 emperors to the collection.
If you are interested on buying pieces of the Mexican Presidents collection, please get in touch with us at, the Nuñez family has the originals antique and vintage molds of the same figurines that you see in books and museums.
Tha last photos show Margarito Nuñez with a miniature Tibor mold made by his grand grand father Pantaleon Panduro. The tibor shows that bust of current mexican President from those days "Porfirio Diaz".
Please remember to see our online store at if you are looking for something in particular please do not hesitate to send us an email.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ignacio Punzo, master of hammered Copper and Silver

Hello again!, this time I would like to write you about Ignacio Punzo Angel, the best artisian from Santa Clara del Cobre Michoacan in Mexico. The town is part of the Pátzcuaro region of Michoacán, and ethnically dominated by the Purepecha people. These people have been working with copper since the pre-Hispanic era, and led to this town’s dominance in copper crafts over the colonial period (1519–1821) until well into the 19th century.
Most of the town's population (82%) its employed on making copper crafts, there are 250 registered workshops but only 2 of them have been inducted in to the "Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art" collection by Fomento Cultural Banamex, one of them its the one own by Ignacio Punzo Angel and his sons.
Ignacio's studio its maybe the only one in Santa Clara del Cobre that also has pieces of Silver. This its because thanks to his level of craftsmanship he has developed a base of collectors and Museums that are able to afford such beautiful items just like the ones in the photos. If you would like to see the items that we have in stock by him please make sure to visit our online Gallery Los Naguales.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The new era of Patric Jars (Tiburcio Soteno)

Hi again!
As many of you may all ready know this 2010 in Mexico we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution and 200 years of the Independence from Spain!. Well over the year I will be writing about Mexican Folk art that Celebrates the Bicentennial and Centennial.
This time the subject for this post will be the "Patriotic Jars" many of them where made in the early 1900s as part of the celebration of the 100th years of the Mexican Independence. This first photo shows an example.

Many of this antique jars where made in Metepec in the State of Mexico, one hour away from Mexico City. Unfortunately now in modern days its impossible to find some one in Metepec that could make similar items, well that was until thanks to the idea of good friend, collector and customer Michael Ricker we commissioned Great Master of Mexican Folk Art Tiburcio Soteno to start making testes in order to recreate this old jars with great decoration. The result was a very impressive piece of folk art with a great composition and a great amount of work, much more sophisticated compared to the old ones.
The subject of this Patriotic Jar that Tiburcio Soteno made was the "Decena Tragica" a passage of Mexican the Mexican Revolution when in October of 1911 president Madero was betrayal by Victoriano Huerta and the American Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, so the jar shows Huerta and Lane, below its the "Palacio Nacional" being fired by cannons, the people below represent the civil people that where killed as part of the battle.
If you want more information of Tiburcio please check my older post about his Trees of life, or write me to, we can commission him special order items. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Day of the Dead Paper Mache Linares Exhibit

Well the day finally arrived and on October 24 we had on display our exhibit of life size day of the dead Skeletons by Ricardo Linares and Felipe Linares at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery day of the dead celebration!.
The place of display was the Cathedral Mausoleum of the Cemetery (where the rests of Rudolph Valentino are). A perfect place with the look of a Museum where besides the Linares art also on display where paintings from Local artists and by artists from Rosarito Mexico like David Silvah and Francisco Cabello.
The event took place from 4pm to 11pm and all of the time the Mausoleum-Gallery was packed with visitors (see photo). From all of the pieces on display the Wedding set made by Ricardo Linares was very popular (Groom, bride, girl with rings, bishop and dog!!), other popular pieces that everyone took photos of where a big Catrina and an Enramada (branchmen) both of them made by Felipe Linares).
We would like to thank our patrons that very kindly let us use the pieces that we have sold them over the last few years. Our patrons are: Kelly Holland, Amy and Arthur Franz and Joan Kramer and Brian Hudson!.
Over the next days and weeks we will receive other very interesting life size pieces by the Linares, they are special orders by our collectors, I will make sure to post the photos!, one of them its a life size Cuahutemoc (Aztec Warrior) by Leonardo Linares, a Life size Judero (street vendor of Judas paper figures) and a Life Size Crowned nun made by Felipe Linares!!.
If you would like to inquiry about Linares pieces, please send us an Email to and also you can check our online store to see what we have on stock by them, click here to see them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What is day of the dead?

Mexican Day of the Dead is an interesting holiday celebrated in the cities and countryside in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2.
Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul's & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.
They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
In most Indian villages, beautiful altars (ofrendas) are made in each home. They are decorated with candles, lowers (wild marigolds called cempasuchil & bright red cock's combs) mounds of fruit, peanuts, plates of turkey mole, stacks of tortillas and big loaves of bread called pan de muerto. The weary spirits need lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are offered to
the adult spirits. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.
Day of the Dead is a very expensive holiday! Many spend over two month's income to honor their dead relatives. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families.
On the afternoon of Nov. 2, the festivities are taken to the cemetery. People clean tombs, play cards, listen to the village band and reminisce about their loved ones. This tradition keeps the village close. Day of the Dead is becoming very popular in the U.S.~ perhaps because we
don't have a way to celebrate and honor our dead, or maybe it's because of our fascination with its mysticism. We would like to thank Angela Villalba for her information about this subject, you can check her wonderful webpage at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Celebrate Day of the Dead Hollywood Style!!

Every year a very interesting event takes place at the Hollywood Cemetery to Celebrate Day of the dead. On this festival, the cemetery receives thousands of visitors (24,000 last year) to enjoy Music, dance, art, folk art and traditional Mexican rituals for the dead like altars, flowers and food. This year the main Mausoleum (where the rests of Rodolfo Valentino are) will be transformed in a Hi End Gallery where between others, a group of artists from Rosarito Mexico will have on display there art, the artists are: David Silvah, Francisco Cabello, Lucy De Hoyos, Daniel Franco, Alfredo Villafaña and Becris.
Along with those artists from Rosarito, our Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art Gallery will have a "museum display" inside the Mausoleum with papier mache art of the Linares family, 10 pieces will be on display and they belong to collectors from the LA Area that have acquired there part of there collection with us, like Amy Franz and Kelly Holland. Some of the life size pieces that will be on display are: a Catrina (by Felipe Linares), a Frida Kahlo (by Felipe Linares), Cilindrero (by Leonardo Linares), a weeding couple (by Ricardo Linares), and a very realistic Bishop (by Ricardo Linares).
We hope you could join us on this celebration, this year Lila Downs will be performing on the Event. For more information please visit, we will also have a booth where we will be selling day of the dead art, right in front of the main entrance of the mausoleum. Feel free to get in touch with us for more information!
For more information on the Linares Family please check my older posts one about Ricardo Linares and and older on Felipe Linares. To see the items by the Linares Family that we have for sale click here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Entijuanarte 2009, Another face of Tijuana

Hi friends!!
Some times we have exchenged Emails about how the situation its in Tijuana (all the bad things we usually see in the news), well this time I would like to share with you the other face of Tijuana, a cultural event that hapend last weekend, its name its "Entijuanarte", basically its an art fair at the Tijuana Cultural Center (this was the fifth year). The fair, showed paintings, performance, theather, music, cloth by local designers and other cool stuff. Arround 50,000 people visited the fair, and it was very exciting to see the work of new emerging artists and also see the work of reknown artists like David Silvah.
For the closing event there was a very interesting concert where 20,000 people went see it, this concert was an experiment to fusion Nortec Music with clasical instruments of the Orquesta de Baja California (Nortec its a world famous type of electronic music that originated in Tijuana, it has a big influence of Norteño music or Banda music). As you can see in the video of youtube the concert was exceptional and 20,000 people with joy started to shout "Tijuana, Tijuana, Tijuana" at the same time. Click here to see a Youtube video of the concert!
Over the year there are other cultural events in Tijuana like "Opera en la Calle", which its an Opera festival in the streets where thousands of people gather to enjoy live Opera music, food and art. Lets hope that all this cultural inspiration gets more in the hipe, so people could talk also about good things of Tijuana.
Here it is a link to an article on the San Diego Union Tribune about Entijuanarte, click here.
If any of you guys would like to visit next years event, please send me an email in order to remind you next October (