Thanks to the Pixar-produced film Coco, a worldwide audience was introduced to the fantastical beasts of Mexican folk art — the alebrijes. Purportedly conceived by Pedro Linares during a fever dream in 1936, alebrijes envision real-life creatures transformed into magical realism renditions, their exaggerated and expressive features frequently including pronounced teeth and bulging eyes. Exploring a sense of monstrous darkness through these vibrantly colored creatures, this aesthetic has since inspired a plethora of artisans to continue the sculptural tradition of alebrije renditions, a cultural influence that is felt in the works of Mexico City-based illustrator and sculptor Heriberto Rodela. With this lineage being self-evident in the artist’s newest gallery showcase, a selection of his pieces have traveled to New York for the artist’s Chamuco solo outing, exhibited under his artistic alias of Mr. Mitote.

An Overview of Chamuco: A Solo Exhibition of Mr. Mitote

Paying homage to his cultural heritage by using titles that are aptly descriptive Spanish words, those creations displayed range from the animal-based Cocodrilo (crocodile) and Tigre (tiger) pieces to those inspired by supernatural entities, such as the Calavera (skull) and Chamuco (devil) works. Smartly adorning each piece with a limited color palette, Mr. Mitote draws the viewer’s gaze to his works’ individually sculpted facial details. Frequently finding lolling tongues slithering past exposed teeth that dwarf these forms’ slinky, paw-tipped arms, these menacing maws and claws are tempered by each unique sculpture’s disarmingly bulging eyes. Finished with textural elements like circular patches, elongated ovals, or upturned scales, Mr. Mitote hand-crafted pieces wisely embrace the anthropomorphic nature of the Kidrobot-produced Dunny and Munny vinyl bases, the artist even accentuating this stance — in defiance to alebrijes tradition — by having several reside in specially-made wooden cars. Ultimately, these aren’t strictly alebrije interpretations but are rather a new evolution of the concept, a series of works that are uniquely Mr. Mitote.

Mr. Mitote’s Chamuco solo exhibition at the Clutter Magazine Gallery had its opening reception on Saturday, August 10th from 6-9pm, with all works in this exhibition remaining on display until September 6th, 2019 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for Mr. Mitote’s Chamuco exhibition

For more information on Mr. Mitote:
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