Jose “Pepe” Santiago is a prolific artist known for his colorful alebrijes (folk art animals and figures). He works out of San Antonio Arrazola in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca has developed into an area that attracts folk artists, who use wood from the copal tree to create their pieces. After carving the pieces, many layers of paint are applied to create his distinctive style; many of these art pieces have to dry for up to 10 months. Wildly imaginative, Santiago has decorated this 13 ½” long ark in a floral pattern in yellow, wine, lavender, white and turquoise and covered in tiny colorful dots. Some of the tiny dots are actually put on with a syringe filled with paint. When assembled it is about 16” wide with the animals looking out the windows, and 17” tall with the “sail” upright. The ark is in excellent condition with only loss of paint on the bottom where it is signed. One of the creatures is missing an ear, but the piece is so wildly decorated, that it is hard to notice. In spite of that, it is still a wonderful piece of Mexican art, and, in any condition, these arks are highly sought after. It is signed Pepe Santiago on the bottom. This folk art piece is quite substantial, weighing 5 lbs. 12 oz.
This would be a fabulous addition to a Mexican or folk art collection. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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