Truly special! This is fourth generation Aguilar Family work! The artist is Fran Garcia Vasquez. the transgender daughter of Demetrio Garcia Aguilar. Demetrio is the son of Josefina Aguilar. It is really exciting to see how these traditions are passed down within the family, and we love being a part of it even in just a small way. Fran has won awards for her work, including being an award recipient from the Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art juried award show, which recognizes and promotes the work of artists under the age of thirty. Fran has been invited to present her work internationally recently, both in Milan, Italy and in New York City. We love the level of careful detail in Fran's work. Beautifully crafted and magnificently painted, Fran's work is currently crafting some of the best work coming out from the Aguilar Family.
Tree of Life representations in clay originated in the neighboring Mexican State of Puebla, in the village of Izucar de Matamoros, but also became the symbolic craft of the town of Metepec located in the State of Mexico. While there are many modern interpretations, such as the one used in this fantastic sculpture made by Fran, Tree of Life purists only refer to them as true representations if they include the Garden of eden, as they were originally used in the Spanish colonial period to teach biblical stories to the indigenous population after actively destroying symbols that included the Gods that the native population previously worshiped. The image of the proud Tehuana Woman, whose dress style was favored by Frida Kahlo, is native to Oaxaca itself though. The Tehuana women come from the city of Tehuantepec in the Istmo Region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Tehuantepec is considered to be the center of Zapotec Culture in the Isthmus Region. The women there are famous for being the primary group allowed to be vendors in the markets of the city, and are fiercely independent. Up until the 1970's, then men were actually prohibited from being vendors in the markets. Even today they make up the majority of vendors and will often challenge male vendors for intruding upon their territory, even questioning their manhood for daring to intrude upon their territory. As a result the women control most household finances, and are able to spend money as they please, which is something usually controlled by the men in much of Mexico. But the Tehuana women are also famous for their beautiful and intricate traditional dress, that has become symbolic for Oaxaca.In this sculpture, Fran has combined the best of both worlds to show the tree of life radiating out from the Oaxacan Tehuana Woman, and has included images of the monkey who some say symbolize good luck in that it brings out the more joyful inner child in oneself, with a more playful outlook on life. This sculpted clay piece is Mexican Folk Art at it's finest! Fran has done a great job sculpting this figure with the utmost detail. It is signed by the artist.
Approximate measurements: 7 3/4" high x 6" wide x 2 1/2" deep