Alebrijes: Unique Art Form
Originally from the state of Oaxaca, and with a family inheritance of tin leaf craftsmen, Pablo Jesús Franco Agüero began carving figures at eight years of age. For him, Alebrijes “represent the cultural wealth and excessive creativity of the artisans of the state”, because “nobody gives them a mold to make a figure, everything comes out of the mind and the talent “. He has created his own style with designs and unique painting that result in an original work that makes it sought after.
Original Alebrijes, Internationally Renowned
Works from their studio, “Familia Franco Ramírez, Workshop & Gallery”, have been presented at the International Business Center of Monterrey, Four Centuries Convention Center of Ciudad Juárez Chihuahua, Cultural Center Refugio de Guadalajara, and Manzanares Park in Torreón Coahuila, as well as at galleries in the United States, France, Germany, and Colombia.
Fantastical Dream Creatures
These colorful, whimsical, hand painted wooden animals began as the creatures seen in dreams. Portrayed as spirit animals in the movie “Coco”, the longstanding art of the Alebrijes has become popular in today’s culture.
The “Copal” tree, believed to have spiritual power, supplies the wood to make the Alebrijes. This tree takes time to grow, pruned often so the growth will result in more interestingly twisted wood, great for making Alebrijes – and planted at 5,000 trees a year for sustainability. The inspiration for each creature comes from the artist studying the branches and following the natural form of the wood through the carving process. After completing carving and construction, each animal must dry and cure for a year. Then, the artists paint the Alebrijes with colorful, intricate patterns, some with specific meanings.
No Mas! Alebrijes collection displays the work of several artists in many sizes. Fun small animals make great souvenirs or mementos, while collectors select the masterwork Alebrijes.