Search engine giant Google celebrates the 115th birthday of Mexican artist Pedro Linares López, the creator of the papier-mâché figurines named alebrijes, on June 29, 2021.
Here is a look at the life and work of Pedro Linares López.
- Birth name: Pedro Linares López
- Birthdate: 29 June 1906
- Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
- Died on: 25 January 1992 (Age 85)
- Death place: Mexico City, Mexico
- Nationality: Mexican
- Notable work: Alebrijes, Papier-mâché
- Notable awards: National Prize for Arts and Sciences (1990)
25 Interesting Facts about Pedro Linares López
- Pedro Linares Lopez was a Mexican artisan born in Mexico City and was the maker of the paper maché figurines named alebrijes.
- Pedro Linares, a Mexican papier-mâché artist (cartonero) who developed an expressive, one-of-a-kind style from folk art forms and traditional, ephemeral fiesta accouterments.
- He is most popular for two genres—the alebrije (fantastic animal) and the Calavera (animated skeleton)— in light of Holy Week Judas and Day of the Dead Calavera miniatures.
- Pedro Linares López began as a skilled producer of carton Judas figures and figurines for Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and numerous different artists from the Academia de San Carlos.
- The art form of alebrijes was made by Pedro Linares López after he became sick at 30 years of age. His own unique alebrijes originated from a dream, portraying his death and rebirth in a mountainous setting inhabited by these fierce animals.
- Trained as a child by his father, Pedro Linares López passed the family métier to his three sons—Enrique, Felipe, and Miguel—who broadened the innovative conceivable outcomes of the medium. Grandsons Leonardo, Ricardo, and David have likewise taken up the work.
- While Pedro Linares López was in bed, oblivious, Linares dreamt of a strange place looking like a forest. There were trees, animals, clouds, sky, rocks, and so forth; he felt no pain and was exceptionally glad walking down there.
- Abruptly, rocks, clouds, and animals transformed into peculiar animals; Pedro Linares saw a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head, and were shouting the word: “Alebrijes.” Every creature was shouting louder and louder: “Alebrijes, Alebrijes, Alebrijes!”.
- The sound was horrendous, and Pedro Linares López couldn’t stay there for long. He got an awful headache and ran along a stone street where a man was walking.
- After Pedro Linares López’s sickness died down, Linares gave life to his vision, and the art of making alebrijes was born. He wanted his family and everybody to think about the creatures he saw by taking a piece of paper and molding the figurines from his memory, then, at that point painting them as he saw them in his dream.
- After this event, Pedro Linares went through a lot of his life showing his work to however many individuals as he could. In addition to the fact that he started with his dearest and nearest, similar to loved ones, he likewise attempted to show his animals to all Mexicans and individuals outside the country.
- So much was the achievement and recognition that Pedro Linares López had, that he was invited ordinarily to go to the United States and Europe, with the sole motivation behind showing the world his works, his wonderful and unusual animals. Their work became searched out by museums and others in the United States and Europe.
- Alebrijes, a term coined by Pedro Linares López, consolidate the body parts of serpents, scorpions, lions, reptiles, and butterflies and accentuate a playful outlook on reality.
- Pedro Linares López’s Calaveras touch on a pre-Hispanic established belief that death is an expansion of life. Consequently, Calaveras participate in a wide variety of activities, for example, guitar-playing, picture-taking, and skateboarding.
- A significant number of Linares’ calavera scenes are inspired by the prints of José Guadalupe Posada, most notably La Catrina, El Panteón, Don Quixote, and revolutionary figures.
- Soon, Pedro Linares would be prestigious as the best artisan in Mexico. Alebrije creators and artists popped up all over Mexico, taking inspiration from Pedro Linares’ work.
- These figures are prized in Mexico and nations throughout the world. Diego Rivera stated that nobody else might have fashioned the unusual figures he mentioned. Work done by Linares for Diego Rivera is currently shown at the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico City.
- Pedro Linares López got the National Arts and Science award in the Popular and Traditional Arts category in 1990, the highest decoration to artisans awarded by the Mexican Government.
- After two years, Pedro Linares López died on 25 January 1992 at 85 years old.
- Pedro Linares López’s three children and later grandchildren kept the Linares name synonymous with the refined art of cartonería.
- Alebrijes keep on being produced by the Linares family and in different workshops across Mexico. They are sent out to art galleries exhibiting Mexican art worldwide and are an excellent representation of Mexican talent.
- The notoriety of the Pedro Linares López work went international because of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City when Pedro and his children were contracted by Dolores Olmedo to make life-sized skeletal figures of Olympic athletes.
- Pedro Linares López was one of the few Mexican folk artists who got public acknowledgment for making the Calaveras, skeletons, and skulls to honor dead predecessors, every Nov. 1 and 2, celebrated in Mexico as the Dias de Los Muertos (Days of the Dead).
- The tradition developed significantly after British producer Judith Bronowski’s 1975 documentary on Pedro Linares López.
- On June 29, 2021, Google observes Pedro Linares López’s 115th Birthday with a Google Doodle.