Handcrafted Copal Wood Alebrije Cat Sculpture from Mexico, "Cheerful Curiosity"
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This item is available for pre-order and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Read more
A curious cat tilts its head in this cheerful sculpture from Mexico. Artisan Teresita Gonzales carefully hand-paints a floral design in the intricate alebrije style using assorted colors on a brown base. The cat is crafted from copal wood.
Alebrijes are a fairly recent Mexican art form, attributed to Pedro Linares. Unconscious due to illness in 1936, he was presumed near death and yet his dreams were extremely vivid. He tells of a place where all was peaceful and quiet until all of a sudden there appeared a lion with an eagle's head, a rooster with bull's horns and a donkey with butterfly wings. They kept screeching "alebrije, alebrije!", and Pedro began running away. He encountered a man who told him it was not yet his time to be there are and he should continue running towards the exit. In this dream Pedro climbed out of a window and regained consciousness.
When Teresita was diagnosed with cancer shortly after she gave birth to her first child, doctors told her that her chances of survival were slim, but against all odds Teresita beat and eliminated the cancer that had grown in her. Although her medical treatments were essential to treating her cancer directly, Teresita attributes her recovery to laughter, positivity, and her ability to create art pieces every day. Each of the products that Teresita has made has uniquely given her a piece of strength to carry forward and live life to its absolute fullest. Teresita is known amongst her colleagues as a positive light and is a tremendous example of strength and virtue to all cancer survivors, mothers, and women worldwide.
An artist who creates from the heart, Teresita has turned a dangerous illness into a source of strength and positivity. After the birth of her first child, Teresita was diagnosed with cancer. "My medical treatments aided in my recovery, but I believe that laughter and her ability to make art have helped me to survive," she says. "I try to infuse each piece with my love of life, a positive attitude, and the appreciation I feel for the time I've been given." She is an inspiration to all cancer survivors, mothers, and women worldwide.
Teresita received local recognition and an honorable mention from the Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art Competition (FOFA)- an organization dedicated to promoting traditional handcrafts and folk art of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Teresita has continued to preserve her unique technique and pass down her alebrije traditions to the youth in her workshop and use culturally significant materials.