Enrique Fabián Ortega, San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca

Enrique Fabián Ortega, San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca

Enrique Fabian Ortega is from San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca. He is an artist who creates alebrijes, which is a wooden art form that is very particular to this region of Mexico. It was not until the 1980's that the demand for this Oaxacan wood carving craft became popular. In 1992, the Smithsonian Museum held an exhibition that showcased renowned Oaxacan woodcarvers, which caused many American art dealers to flock to Oaxaca to begin their collections of this art form. Folk art is a way of life that reflects the changing world of the artisan, as is the case with fine art.

Enrique has "carved" a very special place for himself among the other carvers in Oaxaca because of the unique quality of his work. He first selects the wood he will use to make a particular carving. He uses copal, sabino, enciso, zompantle or recycled wood. Then he lets the pieces dry, arranges the sizes and cures them with diesel or gasoline. His pieces are characterized by using natural "stains", colors and properties of the wood and incorporating them into his design.

He paints his designs using cochineal (an insect that lives on cacti and turns bright red when crushed), bougainvillea, charcoal and/or acrylic paint. Enrique's unique designs come from his dreams and imagination, which are one of a kind. 

When Enrique was nine years old he won an award for his work in an art contest. He also paints murals of a historical nature.

Calle de Tanque SN

San Martin Tilcajete

951 524 9154 casa, 951 349 3406 cell