NOVICA

Wood alebrije sculpture, 'Mystical Camel' (Mexico)

Mexico's Casa Don Juan Family Workshop carries on the artisanal tradition of alebrijes, hand-carving this camel sculpture of copal wood. The camel features multicolored, intricate designs that are painted by hand. Its humps resemble mountains that climb towards the sky. Alebrijes are a fairly recent Mexican art form, attributed to Pedro Linares. Unconscious due to illness in 1936, he was presumed near death and yet his dreams were extremely vivid. He tells of a place where all was peaceful and quiet until all of a sudden there appeared a lion with an eagle's head, a rooster with bull's horns and a donkey with butterfly wings. They kept screeching "alebrije, alebrije!" and Pedro began running away. He encountered a man who told him it was not yet his time to be there are and he should continue running towards the exit. In this dream Pedro climbed out of a window and regained consciousness.