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Friday, April 3, 2015

Alebrijes from Oaxaca, Mexico

One of my favorite stops in my last trip to Oaxaca was visiting the studio of Efraim Fuentes in San Martin Tilcajete, a village renowned for its carvers and painters. 
The art and craft of carving real and mythical animals from the wood of the copal tree is something to behold, especially in the Studio of gifted artists. The copal tree gives many gifts besides its wood and is best known for the resin which is used as an incense.  Pictured at right is Ivan with a branch in the early stages of being carved, and pictured above is Sylvia, the woman who does the painting on the alebrijes that makes them come to life.  The painting is a painstaking process that is done free hand and the final magical ingredient in the artistic collaboration.  It is hard to describe but these are fun and beautiful and special .

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