Carmelo Sosa. San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico. "Guardian" . These fanciful figures are always outrageously colorful. They have removable appendages so you can change their position on the creature (there is no "right" way.) WARNING: Due to the small removable pieces this is a very bad thing to have around little children due to potential swallowing hazard and they WILL be drawn to it.
Alebrijes are made of the local copal wood. The figures are carved with hand tools and allowed to dry. They are then sanded and painted. The painting can vary from quite simple to extremely intricate and precise. The colors run from earth tones to unbelievably gaudy. There are some artists who have become internationally famous.
There are two levels of alebrijes. The first is comprised of large, very elaborate, and unique pieces of art that can be very expensive. The second level consists of little, repeatable design items that often are of average quality in execution but cost relatively little.
Like the Native American artists, if someone hits on a successful design or formula, it tends to get copied. Occasionally the person doing the copying actually executes the design better than the originator.
Due to the expense of shipping and import you tend to see more of the larger pieces sold outside of the village. This little guardian would fall under level two for sure but people love these guys so I picked up a few, this is my last one.
Remember to check the dimensions - the photos are extreme close-ups
Signed: Carmelo Sosa
Length (Depth) : 1-1/2"
Sold Out - $45.00
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