AWESOME JAGUAR WILD CAT ON THE PROWL OAXACA WOOD CARVING BY THE AMAZING ARTIST ELEAZAR MORALES. BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF AMAZING DETAIL IN THE MUSEUM QUALITY CARVING! Eleazar Morales has already achieved the status of a master in wood carving...His true genius of talent is just awe inspiring. Eleazar's work is quite distinctive.
He began carving at the young age of 14, and furthered his artistic development by studying the work of his world famous neighbor Manuel Jimenez. When Manuel Jimenez would discard a woodcarving that did not suite him, Eleazar would study the scraps left behind to further his knowledge of the art of wood carving. Eleazar has certainly come a long way from such a humble beginning, and now his work is shown in galleries around the world. His work is very fine in both the carving detail and the incredible realistic painting done with a very steady and precise hand. We just love the sense of movement in much of his work, and how the painting really reflects the nature of the animal.
Eleazar Morales is one of our personal favorites, and we are so excited to be able to share his work with you! There is something very beautiful and sensitive in this Jaguar wild cat carving. There is a great sense of movement and feeling in this piece, as it appears to be on the prowl with his tail curved in the air and his feet positioned in forward motion. Love the detail in the carving as well, as you can feel the belly protruding from the sides and the indentation on the back. A great sign of quality.The tail is the only removable part, and the piece was signed by the artist. Approximate Measurements: 5 3/8" high x 15 3/4" long x 3 1/2 deep. Oaxacan wood carvings start out traditionally with a piece of Copal wood, either a piece of the trunk, or one of the magnificent branches of the tree. The Copal wood is a soft wood that is similar to a balsa wood, but the Copal is indigenous to Southern Mexico. After the animal wood carvings from Oaxaca became extremely popular, the Mexican government stepped in to control the supply of the wood, and even created a biosphere to preserve the species.
Artists are no longer able to cut trees down though, and must pay increasingly higher prices to obtain a supply of this wood from authorized dealers who maintain a cap on the supply. Currently many artists recognize the importance of preserving these trees, and have communal programs in the villages to replant the Copal, since the tree actually takes about 25 years to mature. The Copal tree takes on a cultural and religious significance in the community as well, since the sap of the tree is used for making incense that is often valued for its ceremonial usage.
The figures are first carved while the wood is green, and the artist is able to carve out fantastic details since the wood is so soft. Other wood can be used, so at times you will find cedar or pine, but Copal is the most commonly used wood. The rough outline is done with a large machete, and the positioning of the figure is often determined by the shape of the piece of wood that is sourced. A carver can take a look at the piece of wood, and envision just what kind of animal they will be able to carve, and how to position it.
Further refinements to the carving are done using gradually smaller rustic knives, usually fashioned locally from whatever is available. After the figure is carved, it is sanded smooth and left to dry.The drying process can take several months if it is a large piece. While it is drying, the wood will often crack, and then the artist will fill these cracks using wood chips and filler, before again having to sand the figure down. The most valuable carvings are often one piece carvings, carved out of a single piece of wood, but you will often find removable parts like tails and ears, that make transporting these a little easier.
A sense of motion in the piece is another sign of quality, as it is also a measure of the degree in difficulty achieved in the particular piece. Twisted bodies, turned heads, raised legs, curved bodies and tails are all indications that an extra amount of work went into the piece of art. Many of the older pieces were painted with natural analine or coal based dyes, but these often faded over time, so most artists switched many years ago to acrylic paint. With the acrylics, more cheerful colors can be achieved, and the paint is more long lasting. We love the sense of color in these cheerful carvings!
Oaxacan wood carvings became commonly referred to as Alebrijes, especially after the movie Coco came out, but the term alebrije actually is attributed to the Linares Family who create fantastical paper maiche figures in Mexico City. The term was widely used in Oaxaca after a joint exhibition that was done where both Pedro Linares of Mexico City and Manuel Jimenez of Oaxaca were present. Manuel Jimenez became the driving force behind Oaxacan wood carvings, and is said to have been influenced by the colors that he saw in the work of Pedro Linares. But the actual term "Alebrije" is actually said to have come to Pedro Linares in a dream about fantasy creatures.
There is much debate currently in Mexico about the use of this terminology, and who should have the right to use it. As a result in Oaxaca you will also see the terms Tonas and Nahuales, which refer to spirit animals and mystical creatures that take on both human and animal forms. Another term used is Tallas de Madera, or simply wood carvings from Oaxaca. Popular culture, however, has made it more difficult for the artists not to use the term Alebrije when referring to their carved figures, since more and more people have become accustomed to the terminology. It will be quite interesting to see how this plays out in the future.
The item "Oaxacan Wood Carving Eleazar Morales Jaguar Oaxaca Mexican Folk Art Alebrije" is in sale since Thursday, September 30, 2021. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Latin American\Mexico\Folk Art". The seller is "scthom1967" and is located in Blaine, Washington.
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