dog alebrije

The figure of a dog hand carved and painted by a master of alebrije.

I visited a shop called Mexico Lindo yesterday, owned by a friend of mine. The owner and her husband travel to Mexico and personally choose and fairly purchase all the merchandise in the shop directly from the makers and there is so much to look at.

These fanciful animals are Alebrijes, hand-carved and hand-painted animals in styles unique to each artist. Patterns vary from whimsical to geometric to highly detailed and stylized, colors from natural to bold primary or tropical combinations, and shapes from representational to mythical.

In this particular figure, as in many others, the posture is often exaggerated or unusual. This dog reminds me of one I saw in an illustration from a fairy tale many years ago.

While carving and painting are traditional to Mexican culture as they are to most cultures, the genesis of the alebrijes in particular was around the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, developing over the past 20 years or so. You can read more about them on the Mexico Lindo website. In fact, please do visit to see some of Lisa’s exceptional photography of the alebrijes in her collection.

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