Arty Encounters in Mexico

A mask is usually an object used to cover the face so that the wearer is not recognized. The incentive for creating masks existed since ancient times in Mexican culture. It is connected to a pre Hispanic belief and to establish a connection with Mother Nature.

Ages back Mexican culture has imbibed the art of mask making and it is a very ancient Mexican tradition. The Azztecs are believed to have started this as a religious ceremony. But later the traditions have been adopted by everyone in the world. These masks in Mexican culture are made out of wood or leather and also have animal hair attached to them along with cow horns. These masks are either painted or left natural. Sometimes they are also lacquered.

Some galleries are the exhibitionists of the best masks in Mexican culture.

Juan Horta Gallery

This is one of the best mask makers according to Mexican culture. Juan made his first mask at the age of 10. It was a wooden mask. It started with his desire to be a part of the Christmas celebration or Pastorela, and this took him to be a great mask maker. Mexico is replete with Juan HOrta’s masks and the Ballet Folcorico de Mexico selected his masks and they are always showcased in the performances across the world. In the Mexico Mask Maker Competition Juan has been winning prizes continuously. He is a main artist featured in the school of Art in Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History. Juan is famous for his wooden masks which are either painted or lacquered. All his masks are worth collecting and Tocuaro in Michocan in Mexico is frequented by tourists for these masks.

Juan Torres Gallery

Michocan is also famous for Juan Torres who took birth here and went on to become a highly skilled painter. His main topic is death. This fascination for death is seen in all his works. It could be symbols or skulls or skeletons. In the year 1982, Juan found the miracles he could do with clay and created Catrinas.

A Catrina is a lady who is very conceited. It is actually a female dandy which laughed at the rulers in Mexico influenced by the Europeans. Many artists have shown the Catrina but none like Juan Torres. He is the true Catrina maker in Mexican culture. Very unique and beautifully shaped, Don Juan is a true artist and his success is unparalleled. Today he doesn’t work anymore but has pupils who try to carry forward his work.

Emiliano Zapata

Another great Mexican and a famous leader of Mexican culture. Born in 1879 this artist went on to become a major leader of the revolution in Mexico. The estate owners squandered a lot of money. There was a grocery store in each estate. The peasants were tortured by these estate owners. Steeped in debts the peasants had a torturous time and this is when Zapata led a revolution which leads to the overthrow of the rule of these masters.

With all these artists around in Mexican culture, wouldn’t it thrive the way it has today.

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