Windows of artesanias in Oaxaca are cluttered with bright neon, wide-eyed animals and anthropomorphic beings known as alebrijes. They originated in the 1930’s after Pedro Linares, an Oaxacan pinata artist, had a fever induced dream about them. Originally, they were crafted from papier – mache. Now they are carved from wet copal wood with chisels, machetes and knives.
We were fortunate enough to come across a family owned business, Artensanias de Madera “Teresita” owned by Victor Vazquez Da Vila. Each artist has a specific aesthetic which is exhibited through color pairing, patterns and designs. Da Vila’s figures are extremely realistic with obscure patterns, as exhibited in the baboon above. To contact the Da Vila family (in Spanish or English) for more information on their pieces, prices and reasonable shipping costs: firstname.lastname@example.org.