Pink and Yellow Wood Iguana Alebrije Sculpture from Mexico, "Pink Iguana"
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This fantastical pink and yellow iguana alebrije from Oaxaca artisans Jesus and Roxana Hernandez seems unable to decide on a standard appearance, so it adopts several different facades. The sides look like they're covered in scales, a sky blue spine appears on the back and tail, and the legs have mottled yellow and red skin. Hand carved from copal wood, the iguana's decoration is done by hand.
It is said that Oaxaca's alebrije tradition descends directly from Mexico City papier mache artisan Pedro Linares (1906-1992). When he was 30, he became seriously ill and fell into a sort of coma. While he was unconscious, he had a most fantastic dream. He was caught between the land of the living and the dead; the place looked like a forest and was populated with creatures with body parts belonging to different animals. The beings repeatedly uttered the word alebrije, and when Linares woke up, he recreated these figures in vivid colors using papier mache techniques and called them alebrijes . His work became famous and eventually influenced artisans in the state of Oaxaca who decided to craft alebrijes using traditional wood carving methods and according to that region's world vision.
Roxana has flourished by continuing to use traditional techniques in her alebrije art and continues to pass down her craft to her grandchildren, as her elders had passed down to her.
Roxana has been awarded 2nd place in the 2018 State Wood Carvings Contest as well as the 2015 Grand Master Award for the best Artisan Heritage piece of Mexico.
They financially support all four of their children through school so that they may have better opportunities in their future careers.
Roxana has been able to build her workshop over the years and now gives work to other artisans in her community.