Category Archives: Maestros of Mexican Folk Art

A Father’s Day Surprise

I’m featuring this wonderful monkey parent by Armando Jiménez Aragón and Antonia Carrillo Hernández to send love to all of the fathers whom we will honor tomorrow: those of our past, present and future. I’ve activated the shopping cart on the new improved website at last, in celebration of the completion of 61 individual pages of woodcarvings. Still so much work to do here, and many, many categories to go, but it’s a beginning. It would not have been possible without the devoted help of my sister Diana DiGioia, my bestest best friend forever.

Save the Dates!


A rare oil painting from Maestro Demetrio Garcia Aguilar

When Demetrio told us he was working on some oil paintings (as opposed to his customary world renowned ceramics) and asked if we were interested in any, we commissioned this one from him, featuring the much beloved image of the sarcophagus of Lord Pacal the Great of Palenque and the Rabbit in the moon. Sarcophagus of Pacal the Great
As with all that he sets his hands to creating, we think he managed to beautifully instill his own unique style within these two very iconic images, and are pleased to be able present it to you at last. $975

In the Octopus’s Garden….

Octopus by Armando and Antonia Jimenez
“He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been, in his octopus’ garden in the shade…” (with apologies to Ringo Starr!) This beauty from Armando and Antonia Jimenez has just arrived and we don’t think he will be hanging around for very long…so if you love him and must have him (price is $230, and he measures almost 6″ in height and 13″ at the widest parts) here’s a convenient shopping cart button for you:

Sacred Necklaces

There are necklaces and then there are necklaces that are much more than mere adornment, but in fact are divine, beautiful, magical talismans. We were fortunate to find two such pieces fitting this description on our last silver shopping trip to Taxco. Both are extraordinary examples not only of superb craftsmanship but also unique and thoughtful design.
The first is made from jaguar skin and leather, mounted in sterling shapes reminiscent of lightning bolts. Indeed, the energy of the jaguar is electrifying and it has been revered in Mesoamerican culture throughout the ages. There are representations of the jaguar found in art and artifacts throughout the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures. Whether a warrior, a Lord or a shaman, one had to earn the privilege of wearing the skin of the jaguar, and so it will be with this necklace.
Sterling silver, jaguar pelt and leather necklace and earrings
I have resolved that it will not be sold to anyone that does not demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the Mesoamerican concepts of the jaguar, which you can read more about in this fascinating and thorough Wikipedia article. Proper gratitude and respect must also be paid to the Italian jaguar that once inhabited this skin (It was brought by a family member who works in leather there to the craftsman/designer); still as lustrous and magical as the starry night sky that the jaguar sometimes exemplifies. $975

Our second necklace is a magnificent homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe, much beloved Patron Saint of the Americas and of course Mexico in particular. This multi-strand beaded necklace of rhodololite garnets, grey baroque freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal culminates with a heavy weight handmade sterling silver image of Her regal visage, in highly detailed and oxidized textures, surrounded by rose-filled rays, as legend dictates. Our Lady of Guadalupe in sterling silver, garnets, pearls and crystal
When wearing this amazing piece, one is continually reminded of Her reassuring presence and comforting words to San Juan Diego: “Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness, nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother?” Whether you prefer to think of Her in her original form, as the Goddess Tonantzin, or as Guadalupe, there can be no doubt that for those who are devoted to Her, She is always a guiding presence. Guadalupe detail $675

¡Viva Guadalupe!

An album from the Facebook page that we wanted to share with you on Her day:

“¿How do we love Her? Let us count the ways…”

From ¡Viva Guadalupe!, posted by Mexico Lindo Mercado y Galeria de Artesanias on 12/11/2009 (29 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

Meet Maestro Carlomagno Pedro Martinez at the 9th annual Celebrate Mexico Now Festival November 13 – 27, 2012

As a part of the 9th annual Celebrate Mexico Now Festival, presented by National Museum of the American Indian in New York, with the support of Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art (FOFA) and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Mexican scholar Marta Turok asks how indigenous Oaxacan artists navigate both “folk” and “high” art markets in today’s artistic climate. In this lecture-demonstration, Turok will present award-winning Oaxacan ceramic artist Carlomagno Pedro Martínez. They may grow up in artisan families, be self-taught artists, or graduate from art school, but whatever path they choose, today’s indigenous Mexican artists must contend with changing tastes. As Marta Turok documents, interest in folk art is waning as interest in conceptual art grows among cultural institutions and power brokers. The organization Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art (FOFA) awards folk artists scholarships to a fine arts school where they can blend their local traditions with contemporary perspectives. For Celebrate Mexico Now, Marta Turok will share her findings and present visiting folk artist, Director of the Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art and acclaimed ceramist Carlomagno Pedro Martínez.

As both supporters of FOFA and collectors and vendors of Don Carlomagnos’ work, we urge all New Yorkers not to miss this great opportunity!

A library like no other…

P1030057We were very excited to meet with Maestro Martin Melchor once again in March, and to re-stock more of his famous taxi-driving giraffes and bicycle-riding zebras, but imagine our surprise and delight when he also showed us this little library scene! The jaguar child is climbing the ladder to the top of the bookshelf, putting away some volumes, while the studious adult jaguar remains absorbed by a volume of Mayan history.P1030058

This darling set costs $245.00 plus 16.00 for shipping.

A Marvelous Menagerie

Noahs' Ark by Armando and Antonia Jimenez

This large ark by Armando and Antonia has animals looking out of the portholes on both sides and and some impatient passengers waiting to get on board! We’re not quite sure how everyone will fit in there but we’ll leave the logistics to Noah, who is conspicuously absent and probably sitting down somewhere with his head in his hands. (This item has sold, sorry! You can special order one like it; talk it over with us!)

Our 9th Anniversary, Report from the Road and Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends! As we approach May 5th, we thought we’d mention that we saw a wonderful feature on Pittsburgh Today Live this morning about Cinco de Mayo with Heinz History Center CEO Andy Masich. Mr. Masich informed us that this year is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. A video of the entire segment is available for viewing on the Pittsburgh Today Live site right now. As some of you know, Cinco de Mayo is also the anniversary of our Murray Avenue store location and ordinarily we make a bit of a to-do about that, but Jean-Pierre is hard at work on the feature film “Promised Land”, and so we promise that next year, on our 10th anniversary, we’ll throw a proper fiesta for everyone!
In March we had the good fortune to return to our favorite shopping destinations: Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca. These roads always lead past the much beloved El Popo and Iztaccíhuatl. Luckily for us, a spate of eruptions from El Popo, as well as some strong earthquakes all began occurring after we were safely back home! Puebla was bustling as always and at every turn jacarandas in full bloom filled hearts with gladness:
Most of the time was spent in finding new acquisitions of Talavera, but I did manage to fit in a quick visit to our dear old friend, the Great Cathedral.
Here is a beautiful example of one of our new finds in Talavera, a unique chalice that we hope will go to a very deserving priest serving a Latino community.(sorry, it did…SOLD!)

On the first stroll down the Alcala upon arrival in Oaxaca, we were amazed to realize our good fortune at the chance to see the 2501 Migrantes exhibit by Alejandro Santiago. When standing or walking amongst the Migrantes, one felt their presence most distinctly and it was a truly beautiful and unforgettable experience. Though we already placed an album of these images on the store Facebook page, we include them some of them here:

There were other beautiful views to be had from the balconies along Alcala, including azaleas in bloom and Tehuanas strolling:

Our next day began in Mitla, on a bright sunny morning with true blue skies and long stark shadows.

The beauty of the mysterious temples, the bells and birdsongs of Mitla are something we will always remember…

The rest of our Mitla images are in this album on Facebook.
Remember to click on images here to view full sized. So from Mitla we proceeded to Teotitlan del Valle, where more extraordinary views awaited…

We were there for more of their famous Zapotec rugs, of course, and rugs we saw, from the sublime to the silly …

An example of dye making and spinning wheel demonstration materials:

..the finest rugs have only natural and organic origin dyes, two of the most commonly used are the recently infamous cochineal beetle and indigo. An example of one that came back with us:

We heard it long before we saw it, beautiful yet plaintive music, from far at the end of the main avenue that runs the length of Teotitlan. I said to Jean-Pierre, “That definitely sounds funereal”. And by the time the procession reached us, we saw that it was indeed.
Like so much that we see when in Mexico, it was a beautiful amalgamation of the ancient ways and the new.

The following day began with a reunion with the renowned Aguilar family of Ocotlan and Maestro Carlomagno Pedro Martinez of San Bartolo Coyotepec. Don Carlomagno, in addition to being a celebrated artist, with his spare and elegant, and always eloquent style in Barro Negro, is also the Director of the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular in Oaxaca. We acquired two wonderful new pieces from him but can’t yet show them to you as they haven’t arrived! But here is one that we already have, and a shot of Don Carlomagno in the courtyard of the Museo.

Demetrio Garcia AguilarFrom there we met up with Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, another Great Maestro and favorite of collectors from all over the world. The piece that Demetrio is holding there, called “Dualidad”, came back with us. P1020780

P1020867We missed seeing Josefina Aguilar, who wasn’t at home at the time, but nonetheless came back with some beautiful things from her, like this Virgin of Guadalupe. (sorry, the Guadalupe has sold!) We also visited with both Guillermina and Irene, and in addition to buying more new things from them, we also asked them both to pose for new pix for us…

Below, a few more sneek peaks from other finds from San Martin and Arrazola, by Jacobo and Maria Angeles Ojeda, Armando and Antonia Jimenez and Bertha Cruz(sorry, the cat by Armando has sold!):




A darling, giant painted gourd with gatos was too irresistible to leave behind!

And so we’ll leave it at this; there is still more to report, more photos to share and more new things still arriving and and being photographed as well, so next time we’ll pick it where we left off. ¡Until then, saludos!