Handcrafted papier-mache figurines in Mexico
"My workshop is always filled with shapes and colors — some physical, some in my imagination. There are no molds, no limits. The artisan chooses the shape, textures, color and essence.""I was born in Mexico City's Xochimilco borough in 1970. I've always loved painting, drawing and art, and I majored in graphic communication.
"To tell you how my workshop came to be, my mind goes a long way back, to around 1986. I remember I was quite ill and this brought on some extremely difficult emotional moments. After that, I looked at life in a different way. It was a defining moment that impacts all my work.
"Working in papier mache has always attracted me. I adapted my home so I could teach art workshops for children. Later, I taught the art of alebrijes and papier mache. My original intention was for my students to exhibit their work, but unfortunately, I didn't have any support from museums and galleries. Even so, teaching lets me leave a little bit of my work with each student.
"I began crafting papier mache catrinas and catrines, which are figurines representing death as elegantly dressed people of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I began perfecting my technique to create and decorate them, which led me to share a part of life in every image.
"My work has been inspired by the traditions of my country. It is necessary to observe people's clothes, gestures and posture.
"From the beginning, I wanted to take up the themes made famous by lithographer Jose Guadalupe Posada, with a focus on urban poverty by satirizing the bourgeoisie and the pretensions of the elite. I wanted to give my work a style of my own, influenced by the original alebrijes of Pedro Linares.
"My workshop is always filled with shapes and colors — some physical, some in my imagination. There are no molds, no limits. The artisan chooses the shape, textures, color and essence. Each project I undertake is a challenge and, in the end, each figurine reveals features that make it different.
"A personal challenge for me is to recognized as a papier mache artist and to leave a small mark on this world."