Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2008 issue.

Most alebrije artists tend to focus on small pieces, primarily due to practical reasons. Indeed, the amount of time required to complete these intricately painted woodcarvings increases exponentially with size, and focusing on a single piece often prevents artists and their families from generating income through the sale of smaller items in the interim. Very much to our good fortune, Oaxaca artist Neftalí Villanueva has taken exception to this notion, having invested approximately one year to create this spectacular feathered creature.

Creating unique alebrijes has been a tradition for Villanueva and his family for two decades. Each family imbues their work with a unique style, and the Villanuevas’ stands out for the fine-bristled brushes utilized to simulate color fades. Additionally, they favor cedar, a durable scented wood, instead of copal, commonly used for this type of work. You could spend a fair amount of time discovering the unique items on display at Peyote People, but taking in the size and detail of this outstanding example of fine Mexican art is worth the visit alone. And should this particular creature be too large for a suitable spot in your home, chances are you’ll find others that will win your heart. Peyote People, Juárez 222, El Centro.