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

Friday, March 2, 2012