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Ceramics

Gustavo Pérez stands alone as the Mexican ceramic artist who is internationally celebrated and admired. He is a genius at combining fluid forms with innovative surface designs.

Tonalá has been an important center of ceramics for more than 500 years. Ángel Ortiz has revived traditions from the thirties that had actually disappeared from his village. He learned his craft from his grandparents, who were also traditional potters. 

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Carved and painted wood

While many types of Mexican folk art have their origins in pre-Hispanic art and have evolved over hundreds of years, the much beloved carved and painted wood animals, birds, and alebrijes (wildly imaginative creatures), that have now made three Oaxacan villages famous for their woodcarving, go back only as far as the 1930s, and it was not until the 1980s that the woodcarving became wildly popular.

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Baskets

Vibrant baskets created by the Wounaan indigenous tribe of Colombia are the result of ancient weaving traditions passed through generations of the indigenous peoples of the Darién rainforest. Originally designed for practical uses of storage or transportation, the Wounaan baskets have evolved into revered works of art, highly prized by collectors. Galería Atotonilco is their exclusive representative in all of Mexico.

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Dance Masks

Evidence of humans using masks goes back 15,000 years. Masks add power and mystery to rituals. They allow the wearer to release inhibitions, to take on a new identity, to become anonymous. As early as 1,000 BC in highly developed Mesoamerican cultures, dances and rituals involved masked dancers. When the Spanish Catholics first conquered what is now Mexico, they regarded masks as pagan, but they soon realized they could use masks to teach Catholic beliefs and Christian history. Masked dances and rituals are still widely used in villages all over Mexico, making the mask artists important members of the community.

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Hammered Copper

The town of Santa Clara del Cobre near Pátzcuaro in Michoacán is the source of some of the world’s most extraordinary works in copper. For over 500 years, nearby sources of copper stimulated the trade of copper work, and most of the items made were utilitarian: sinks, pots and pans, and large cooking vessels. In 1966, anAmerican artist, James Metcalf and his wife, Mexican artist Ana Pellicer, began working with the coppersmiths, teaching them new techniques and decorative designs and heralding a new era in the town. Now the coppersmiths are true artists, creating spectacular decorative vessels and chargers.

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Huichol

About 10,000 Huichols, descendants of the Aztecs, live in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains in an area so remote and hazardous that the Spanish conquerors never found them. They remain one of the most intact primitive cultures in the Western Hemisphere, having adapted to their harsh environment, still a pocket of isolation in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit. For many centuries, to this day, they have preserved their ancient spiritual rituals, their language, their art, and their agricultural lifestyle.

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Lacquer

The spectacular lacquer gourds from Tamalacatzingo, Guerrero, have been called the “Faberge Eggs of Mexico,” so richly and intricately decorated are they. The finest ones are produced each year for the town competition where Mayer Shacter is usually the only person who is buying work. As a result, Galeria Atotonilco has by far the largest and finest collection of these spectacular, rare gourds. You won’t find them anywhere else.

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Santos

Carved wooden santos or saints were used widely in Mexico as priests and missionaries worked earnestly to convert the indigenous population as well as by the Spanish who emigrated to Mexico and built their lavish cathedrals. Spanish carvers taught the art to indigenous artists. Early santos are generally unsigned, their histories difficult to trace, and their patronage unknown. But they remain objects of affection and devotion and are imbued with the history of the colonial era.

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Oil on Canvas

San Juan Nepocuceno, priest and martyr, depicted here in a rare 18th century oil on canvas painting, was drowned in the river by King Wenceslaus of Bohemia because he would not divulge secrets confessed to him by the queen. He is the patron saint against bearing false witness to do harm and a protector from floods and drowning.

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Paper Maché

There is a wide misconception that the friendly monsters and fanciful animals known as alebrijes were invented by the woodcarvers of Oaxaca. But in reality, paper maché artist Pedro Linares invented them. In the 1930s, Pedro Linares (1906-1992) was already working in paper maché. One night, he dreamed of surreal magical animals playing in a forest and all shouting the word, alebrijes. He began creating these creatures, called them alebrijes, and the tradition was born. His sons still create them.

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Tin and Metal

Around 1548, metal smiths in San Cristóbal, Chiapas, taught by the Spanish, began making house crosses, padlocks, latches, and doorknockers. Virtually every house bore a cross on its rooftop. Guadalupe Hermosillo has carried the metal work to a high art, both reviving colonial-era designs and creating his own. He has experimented with fire's intensity to give the metal different shades of color, from intense blue to silvery white, with natural finish flashes of red, green, and gold mixed into a single piece. He has won nearly every honor given in his field.

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Country Antiques

For anyone furnishing or updating a home, the gallery’s collection of Mexican country furniture is a must-see. The collection includes pieces that date from colonial times, as early as late 1600s, to tables, chairs, benches and trasteros(kitchen shelf units) from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The gallery specializes in pieces that still have their original paint, and every piece has been carefully restored so it is ready to go into your home.

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Textiles

Ancient Maya religion included a goddess of weaving, Ix Chel. She is often shown wearing a backstrap loom, which is the traditional Maya loom. Throughout contemporary Maya culture, weaving and embroidery remain widespread. The huipil, a loose fitting tunic, is still by far the most common apparel among Maya women. Each garment is unique and may require two or three months to complete, and each village has developed a distinctive design. Textiles are an integral part of Maya identity and of both everyday and ceremonial life.

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Retablos

Retablos, small devotional paintings, usually oil on tin, were brought to the new world by the Spanish, who taught indigenous artists. The quality of the painting is sometimes exquisite with expressive faces, sometimes more naïve and charming. Retablos are excellent examples of folk art. They were widely used over altars in churches or purchased by parishioners to hang in their homes.

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• Featured collection Gustavo Pérez •

  • Mural Gustavo Pérez
    Vendor
    Gustavo Perez
    Regular price
    $4,300.00
    Sale price
    $4,300.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez Sequence Sculpture
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $8,750.00
    Sale price
    $8,750.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No. 19-284
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $3,250.00
    Sale price
    $3,250.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No. 08-107
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $2,995.00
    Sale price
    $2,995.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No. 16-800
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $4,250.00
    Sale price
    $4,250.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No. 17-377
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $435.00
    Sale price
    $435.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No. 19-65
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $2,365.00
    Sale price
    $2,365.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out
  • Gustavo Pérez No.18-445
    Vendor
    Gustavo Pérez
    Regular price
    $1,950.00
    Sale price
    $1,950.00
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
    Sold out

Discover the finest quality Mexican folkart

Deepen your appreciation of Mexican culture with an experience that will be an enduring source of delight.
Take home an exceptional piece of art available only in this Mexican folk art and antiques gallery.

Gallery owner Mayer Shacter shares his knowledge and stories freely, having traveled all over México to select each item.
He brings over fifty years of experience as a collector, dealer, and ceramic artist.

Every purchase supports a hardworking, talented family of artists and helps to preserve Mexico’s distinctive culture.

I have been collecting Mexican Folk Art for 50 years and have never seen anything this complete and well selected.

M.F. Sacramento, CA

Don’t make other buying decisions until you visit this gallery.

Dennis Paget, New York City

Without doubt the finest exhibition and sale of Mexican popular arts in the country

Alberto Ruy Sánchez, Editor Artes de México
  • Galería Atotonilco, An unforgettable experience of Mexico

- Galería Atotonilco -

An unforgettable experience of Mexico.

Discover the finest quality Mexican folkart, deeply rooted
in the ancient history of México