Monday, March 12, 2012

Huichol VW

If you guessed this photo has something to do with your VW on acid circa 1967 you're pretty close. Classic Beetles have been manufactured in Mexico till fairly recently. In 2010, underwritten by various sponsors, eight members of the Huichol people, living in the mountains of central-western Mexico, began customizing their own Beetle.

In recent years, with the application of new materials, Huichol art has exploded onto the world scene. One aspect of this is "yarn-painting," using modern fine yarns with bright colors. The other makes use of very tiny beads. The designs are traditional, the effects are very modern and spectacular. I have four framed reproductions of Huichol beadwork "paintings" hanging in my living room.

Yesterday, while strolling in Balboa Park, I stumbled upon the mother of all Huichol art - the "Vochol," a combination of the popular term for VWs in Mexico and Huichol. The artists, led by Francisco Bautista Carrillo and his daughter Kena, labored 4,760 hours, and applied 2,277,000 beads with a special resin.

As to the 60's on-acid appearance - the Huichol beat the hippies by at least a millennium. The peyote is a sacred plant.

San Diego is the first stop in a world tour. The Vochol will be auctioned off to rise money for the Huichol people


Robert said...

Francisco Bautista Carrillo and his daughter Kena are the artists

John McManamy said...

Thanks for mentioning this, Robert. I'll incorporate this info into my piece right now. The two deserve to be recognized worldwide as artists of the first rank.

To readers: The Vochol is a mind-boggling work of art. Do check it out if you get a chance. Otherwise, please check out other extraordinary Huichol art. said...

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Cathy K. said...

What a stunning, amazing piece of work!
When can I download your book? I am in particular need of it at the moment, methinks.

Molly Jones said...

I collected several pieces of Huichol art when I lived in Mexico and they daily brighten my life. I'm glad you're bringing these masterpieces to the attention of those who may not be in the know. The Huichols are a fascinating people who deserve support.