Mexican Folk Art: William Spratling said this of it, “I am convinced that folk art is basically possible only when you have a group of people who are happily unburdened with instruction, people who are free to focus and feel the need to produce with their hands in order to make a living. Their imagination is thus poured in an untrammeled way into their products, whether it is silver or the weaving of simple cotton textiles, hand-blown glass or ceramics.” To that it could be added that Mexican folk artists have much more often than not, grown up in families making folk art for generations. From infancy throughout their formative years they are living and sleeping with the art all around them, playing with it and trying their hands at it early in life so that it becomes second nature.
Pedro Linares started as a skilled carton judas and figurine-maker for Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and many other artist from de Academia de San Carlos. The art form of alebrijes were created by Pedro Linares after he became ill at 30 years old, in México City, his own unique alebrijes came out of a dream, depicting his death and rebirth in a mountainous setting inhabited by these fierce creatures.
Masks were an important part of Mexican culture long before the Spanish arrived. Today, masks are mostly found in the southern, central, and northwestern states of Mexico where many Indian populations live. Masks are still used at many festivals and ceremonial dances. Many of the masked dances are performed to securehappiness and good fortune.