DESCRIPTION: This dynamic and colorful Alebrije goat (or ram) is carved as if in a full run, its long front leg folded under its body in mid-stride. Two huge white horns curl from the top of its head to its ears. His green speckled body is accented with vibrant red "stripes" running down his back, tail and legs, while a purple design covers his belly. This large, delightful animal is signed on the underside, "Narcisco Gonzalez Ramirez, Arrazola, Oaxaca Oax., Mexico." Excellent condition. DIMENSIONS: 19" long x 9.75" high.
CULTURAL BACKGROUND: Oaxacan woodcarvings, also known as Alebrijes, have been a tradition for generations in several small villages outside the capital of Oaxaca, Mexico. It has only been in the past 40 years that these beautifully carved and painted figures have become popular, and are now collected worldwide. Using rudimentary tools, these Mexican artists create fascinating figures out of fresh-cut copal wood. After drying and sanding, the carvings are meticulously painted with intricate patterns and vibrant colors, limited only by each artist’s imagination. Collectors highly value the signed pieces; however, the Alebrije may have had many hands contribute to its making. Often the person who signs the alebrije is the person who is the most well known in the family or the workshop. A son may carve an alebrije in his father’s workshop, a grandson may sand it and a daughter may paint it. But if the father is the most well known carver, it is signed with his name.