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 mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx 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 http://mexicansugarskull.com

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 www.losnaguales.com 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 http://www.ladayofthedead.com, 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! mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx
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 (mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ricardo Linares: Humor & Day of the Dead

I have been always a big fan of papier mache folk art, specially the one made by the Linares Family the creators of those fantastical animals called "Alebrijes". The story tells that the Patriarch of this family "Don Pedro Linares" saw this fantastical animals in his dreams while beein sick. Once he recovered, he started making those fantastical figures on papier mache and gave them the name of "Alebrijes". He never imagined that his creation will have such a deep reception on Mexican Folk.
Ricardo Linares (grandson of Don Pedro) at age 40 its one of the most prolific members on the family; museums, Galleries and private exhibitions in the States and Europe have had his work on display some the places are: San Jose, Sacramento, San Fransisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. Over seas his work has been in Spain, France, Germany and Australia.
The special trade mark of Ricardo has been the sense on humor that his pieces show, for example you can see scenes with devils and angels figthing for the soul of a skeleton, or the same devil and angel having fun with a bottle of Tequila. One of his most famous piece its called "Dolor de Cabeza" (The headache) basically its a day of the dead skeleton running with an expression of pain in his head, and poping out from it there it is an Alebrije!!. Another piece that I like its the piece entitled "El coco" (the bogeymen) it shows a skeleton with a mask playing a joke to a scared smaller skeleton.
For more information on the Linares Family, you can also check my older post on Felipe Linares. Enjoy!!
To see the art by Ricardo Linares that we have for sale click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Angel Santos: Perfection on Tonala Ceramics

There are 2 artists from Tonala that I like the most, one its Salvador Vazquez, and the other one its Angel Santos, both of them Masters, but very different in style. While Salvador follows a more "naive" and traditional line of decoration, Angel Santos looks for perfection, perfection in its burnished finish and perfection in his very sophisticated decoration, specially in his miniatures.
Angel was born in Zacatecas (as many great Mexican Artists), but moved to Jalisco at a very early age. At age 7 he started his relationship with clay, he was a helper at the Mario Silva studio, folk art its about tradition from one generation to the other the earlier you begin the better, that's what happened to Angel, he felt in love with the craft at a very early age.
While still a teenager Angel Santos opened his own studio, in those days it was difficult to convince folk art store owners that he was the artisan that made those well made ceramics, but with time and hard work he made a name of his own, specially because he was able to do his own designs with new never seen before ideas for his Ceramics.
His quest for perfection brought him to search for professional studies, so he went to school at the Universidad de Guadalajara where he made 2 mayors one in Graphic Design and the other one on Sculpture, this its something very rare to see in a folk art artist because usually they only learn the craft from family tradition.
Besides his skills for the craft, Angel also its a leader in his community, some years ago he formed the non profit organization "Herencia Milenaria" which its a group of Tonala Artisians that joined forces in order to be able to exhibit there ceramics as a collective group outside Mexico. In 2006 his group received from Mexican President Fox the National Award on science and Arts in the folk art category in recognition for work to promote Mexican Ceramics.
If you would like more information on this artist or just to get in touch please write us to mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx or check our item by the Tonala Great Masters please click this link: www.losnaguales.com.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tiburcio Soteno a life of Trees of life

One hour away from Mexico City there it is the town of Metepec, now a world famous place for the ceramic Trees of life made there. But in the early days (1930s) this little town mas only famous for utilitarian ceramics like huge casseroles and Pulque Jars, that was till Modesta Fernandez started making naive trees of life, among her customers where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (who by the way teached her how to use paints that will not fade with time).
Tiburcio Soteno, one of the yougest sons of Modesta grew up all his live seeing trees of life been made by his mother and brothers. Year by year the trees of life became biger and more sofisticated, but Tiburcio was the one resposable to take them to the tin line that there it is between folk art and art.
His work can be seen in several museums and collections in Canada, USA, Spain, UK, Germany and Italy. One of the bigest tree of life he has done its a 10 meters tall tree of life in La Mancha Spain, that tree its inside a castle and the subject of it is the "Men from la Mancha" book by Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quijote). He its the only Mexican mentioned in the book The Ceramic Narrative
by Matthias Ostermann. Other books are Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art, Crafts of Mexico (in this book there it is a chapter with an enterview of him), Artes de Mexico # 30. Metepec y su arte en barro (this its a biligual book) and Ceramic Trees of Life: Popular Art from Mexico.
Currently Master Tiburcio travels almost once a year to Museums in Canada and the UK to give workshops and lectures about his art. At this moment he its making for us some special order items to celebrate the bicentenial of the Mexican Independence (Trees of life, jars, mugs, figurines, etc) our idea its to publish a book of him entitled "The Mexican Independence and Revolution thrue the eyes of Tiburcio Soteno".
Please get in touch with us to let us know on what subjects to write or write us for any other issue on Mexican Folk Art! thats ok!!, our mail its mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx you can see our trees of life for sale by clicking on this link: www.losnaguales.com Thanks!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Emilio Molinero one of the oldest masters

Born in 1920 Emilio Molinero its famous for his ceramics with prehispanic designs inspired by the ones he found as a young boy while working in his family corn field.
In your next trip to Tzintzuntzan make sure to visit his home, this town its famous for the ceramics made there, besides Emilio Molinero other great artists living there are Consuelo rendon (naive cream and black ceramics) and Angelica Morales (see post about her).
His work its found in several museums and books including Great Masters of Mexican Folk Artand the catalog of Mexican Ceramics (antique and new ones) by the Mexican Society of Archeology.
At age 89 and because of his diabetes unfortunately he its now blind (he was all ready deaf). His pieces are well valued by collectors and museums.
Fortunately his daughter Mercedes and his grandson Miguel are keeping the family tradition, at young age Miguel as been winning folk art contests just as his Grandfather did some years ago. The photo of him with his wife was taken in 2005.
Please write us to let us know your subjects that you would like for us to write to mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx, you can click on the next link to see our items for sale by Emilio Molinero and other Great Masters from Michoacan: www.losnaguales.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guadalupe Hermosillo: Master of old style Ironsmith

Since the XVII Century old buildings in the Colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas have been decorated with big iron crosses on top of there roofs. Usually those crosses have several figures like a ruster, a hearth, a leader, a snake, a balance and so on, each one of them has a meaning and all they represent the passion of Christ (Hearth=Sacred hearth of Christ, rooster=Peters denial, snake=temptation, balance=justice, the leader to bring down Jesus from the Cross, the lance that the Roman soldier used, etc).
My first approach to one of these crosses (before visiting San Cristobal) was 3 years ago at the new National Museum of Mexican Folk Art in Mexico City know as MAP (Museo de Arte Popular), behind glass there lies a huge cross with all those symbols made by Great Master of Mexican Folk Art Guadalupe Hermosillo. 2 years ago I was lucky enougth to meet him in person at his studio in San Cristobal de las Casas. He its a great person, very humble men who likes to work hard and to do things as perfect as possible, for example: his new crosses are much more sophisticated compared to the one at the book Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art (now each bar of iron its actually made of 2 twisted bars that look like one, making double work just to give the optical illusion of one bar), another example its that he likes to keep working the same way as in the old days, each and every joint are made with rivets, my guess its that 99.99% of modern ironsmiths only know how to make soldered joints instead of using rivets.
He its also very reliable of special orders, one time he made for me a custom cross just to hold in front of it a wood cross with a straw mosaic by Guillermo Olay, he ended up making an amazing job!!. I hope to post a photo of it some day. See you on the next post!.
Please write us to let us know your favorite subjects on Mexican Folk Art in order for us to write about it in our blog, our email its mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx if you would like to see our items for sale by the Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art just click on the next link: www.losnaguales.com thanks!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mexico's National Award of Ceramics 2009

Since the late 1970s the "Premio Nacional de Ceramica" was established to help promote the craftsmanship of Mexican artisans and to bring there work at collectors level, each year the number of the pieces and there quality has been growing and growing!, this year 5200 pieces where summit!!.
I'm very happy to let you know that this year 3 of my friends that I work with have won this great contest. They are: Angel Santos, Juan Hernandez and Juan Carlos de la Cruz.
Angel Santos, won the "Angel Carranza Award" in recognition to his long trajectory as a great master in the field of burnished ceramics from Tonala, just a couple of years ago he and his group of artisans "Herencia Milenaria", won the National Award of Science and Arts in the folk Art category. The work of Angel can be found in several books of Mexican Folk Art, betweenRemove Formatting from selection them Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art and Arte Del Pueblo, Manos De Dios/Art of the People, Hands of God ( the catalog of the National Museum of Mexican Folk Art). Angel its very famous for his miniatures where in just a few inches he can show a Mexican fiesta!.
Juan Hernandez from Metepec its also very famous for miniatures but his are miniature trees of life just 4 inches tall. One example its a day of the dead tree of life that we have at hour gallery, its 3.2 inches tall and it has 50 day of the dead musicians!!! each one with its own musical instrument!!!. (see photo) His work can be found in the miniatures section of the book "Crafts of the people hands of God", several museums have his work including the National Museum of Folk Art in Mexico City know as MAP.
Juan Carlos de la Cruz, wow!, what to write about him??!! I'm always speechless every time I see one of his day of the dead miniatures. Since a young kid he has been working the clay, he learned the craft from his dad also famous artisan Alvaro de la Cruz in Capula Mexico. Specially I love his day of the dead crowned nuns and his Galleros (see photo).
Usually we carry the work of this 3 masters under special order, any way, please check our online store www.losnaguales.com or send us an email to mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx Enjoy!!!.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Salvador Vazquez, Master among Masters

The Village of Tonala has been famous since the XVII for its burnished pottery, several examples of Tonala ceramics from that period can be seen in Spain at the "Museo de America".
With centuries of talented artisans a modern "master among masters" its Salvador Vazquez (age 75). At 8 years old he started working the clay, in 1951 at age 17 he worked for the famous "Aldana" ceramics factory along with another 200 ceramists from Tonala. Folk Art legend from the 1040s Amado Galvan was his teacher along with his Godfather Felix Solis. In the early 70s he started working with another legend Jorge Wilmoth, where he had the position of designer and chef of ceramists. Thanks to Jorge for the first time maybe in centuries the artisans of Tonala started earning real money, in the past artisans only made utilitarian objects and there bosses did not paid well for there work, in words of Don Salvador that was the case of the Aldana Factory.
Once Don Salvador left Jorge Wilmoth, he opened his own studio, where now he was able to design at free will his own designs, since then several of the now Tonala masters learned there techniques from Don Salvador among them are Juan Antonio Mateo Nuno, Luis Cortez, Gilberto Pila and Jose Palacios.
The subjects that Master Vazquez likes to include in its designs are Naguales (fantastical animals), flowers, deers, birds, dogs and tradicional Mexican scenes.
You can find his work in several books of Mexican Folk Art, like Nagual in the Garden: Fantastic Animals in Mexican Ceramics (His work its in the cover of the book), Ceramica de Tonala (also this one has his work in the cover), Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art, and Art of the People, Hands of God between others.
If you would like to get in touch with us please write us at mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx or if you would like to see our items on sale by Salvador Vazquez and other Tonala masters please click on the next link www.losnaguales.com. Thanks!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Angelica Morales Tzinztuntzan lead free pottery

In the small village of Tzintzuntzan there has been several generations of artisans doing wonderful cream and black ceramics, the book Cera*mica: Mexican Pottery of the 20th Century
shows some examples, all of them at a very naive level. Angelica Morales, her sister and brother have been the pioneers on bringing this “naive” decoration to the n
ext level of beauty. Angelica's unique style shows scenes of traditional fiestas, Mexican markets, festivals and geometric prehispanic figures. Usually the main characters on her compositions are women, kids and mermaids. Specially her mermaids call the attention of every one, I have never seen nothing similar to her exquisite mermaids!. Another plus on her ceramics its that they are lead free, giving a special bonus to her art!.

Besides her pottery, Angelica its also famous for her drawings on amate bark paper, the most impressive one I have seen by her its a big scene with many Mexican children playing traditional Mexican games, own by collector of Mexican Folk Art Gale Cunningham.

Felipe Linares Papier Mache Skelleton Enramada

Hello Friends! this time I would like to write about one of my favorites pieces of Mexican Folk Art, its called "Enramada" (Branch men) and its made in Papier Mache by Great Master of Mexican Folk Art Felipe Linares (born in 1934). Its average size is 59” tall, every Enramada he makes its a different piece of art so each one has different animals, flowers and plants. The Linares family its the most famous Mexican family on the art of Paper Mache, late Pedro Linares (father of Felipe) invented the fantastical creatures called “Alebrijes” (he also invented that word).
The work of Felipe Linares can be found in the National Museum of Mexican Folk Art (Museo de Arte Popular) in Mexico City, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the Fowler Museum in UCLA, the Museum of Men in London between others. Also some of the most important collectors of Mexican Folk Art have this piece among there most valuable objects, like Amy Franz who by the way has the most impressive Linares collection I have seen.
Also the work of Felipe Linares can be found in several books of Mexican Folk art, his work made the cover for the new book of the Mexican Goverment Agency for traditional crafts "Arte Popular de Mexico" (see photo), other books are. En Calavera: The Papier-Mache Art of the Linares Family
, “Crafts of the people, hands of God”, and Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art.. The book The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico has in its a pages a photo of one of Felipes Enramadas.
Each Enramada he makes takes aprox 6 months to be made, please consider that this its a piece of art and that the master was born in 1934, any way its wait is worth doing!.
If you would like to receive more photos of other Enramadas that I have sold please get in touch!! (mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx). To see all the items that we have for sale by the Linares family please click here