The year opens with the arrivals of pieces by Edilberto Cortez and the artist team of Felipe and Mauricio Ramirez. When we first discovered these artists back in the early 1990s, we were amazed at their distinctive qualities that sets their work apart in the highly competitive Oaxacan village of Arrazola.
The eyes will immediately capture your attention when admiring a Oaxacan woodcarving and this is the magic in Edilberto's art. He has a unique way of creating 3D chiseled eyes on all of his works.
Starting with his Egyptian cats and working their way across his zoomorphic portfolio are animal eyes interrelated by the characteristic raised eye shapes. While other artists mimic Zapotec and Navaho patterns Cortez invents his own geometrical spaces and rules of color. An anteater will always portray the characteristics of an anteater while a snail will always have a lucid patchwork of prismatic positioning.
At the realistic end is his fur pattern painting style and splotchy patch method is entirely unique to him. Another feather in Edilberto's hat is the ability to evolve new styles while embracing his original hallmark designs.
Felipe and Mauricio Ramirez are the defacto Arrazola lizard painters. Over the years many artists have borrowed from their flaming multi-color camouflage with boundless color combinations.
They are masters of mixing colors as they can make so many different hues work. The term 'no two are alike' quickly comes to mind when viewing the Ramirez brothers vast array of surreal swirling patterns and the contouring of multi-loop tailed lizards.
You could collect a hundred iguanas and two would never be alike. Their custom color palette has a higher degree of depth also sets them apart from other artists. In fact, colors that have only existed in Oaxacan pieces are ones Mauricio mixed himself.
Their pieces are often the only thing collectors collect forgoing the many other genres of village styles. Yes, 2017 has a magical start with these fantastic works new in the gallery.