San Diego Museum of Art: Vochol

Going on now at the San Diego Museum of Art - This 1990 Beetle was covered in 2,277,000 beads applied by eight artisans from two Huichol families, who finished their work in late 2010.  While you are there make sure to check out the Mexican Modern Paintings from the Andres Blaistein Collection.

What is Huichol?  Descendents of the Aztec, the Huichol or Wixáritari are an indigenous ethnic group of western central Mexico, living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Durango.  They are best known to the larger world as the Huichol; however, they refer to themselves as Wixáritari ("the people") in their native Huichol language.  For the Huichol, yarn painting is not only an aesthetic or commercial art form.  The symbols in these paintings are sprung out of Huichol culture and its shamanistic traditions.  The yarn paintings were originally used as offerings at their religious sites.  From the small beaded eggs and jaguar heads to the modern detailed yarn paintings in psychedelic colors, each is related to a part of Huichol tradition and belief.   The beaded art is a relatively new innovation and is constructed using glass, plastic or metal beads pressed onto a wooden form covered in beeswax.  Common bead art forms include masks, bowls and figurines.  Like all Huichol art, the bead work depicts the prominent patterns and symbols featured in the Huichol religion.  Peyote is a focal point for their ceremonies, and their colorful beadwork and yarn work reflects a reverent and symbiotic relationship with nature.

Where can you view and purchase Huichol pieces? Casa Artelexia, of course! ;)

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