Venezuela's Monteagudo Perfects the Art of Making Dolls

Venezuelan sculptor Mariana Monteagudo is keeping alive her family’s pottery tradition in works that are part of creations by a generation of young Latino artists in the United States.

Venezuelan sculptor Mariana Monteagudo is keeping alive her family’s pottery tradition in works that are part of creations by a generation of young Latino artists in the United States.

Monteagudo_s best known works are dolls sculpted in papier-mache that she wraps in canvas, achieving a high level of expression.

_I always worked in ceramics until I came to the United States,_ Monteagudo said in an interview with Efe.

_Here, it is more difficult to get it. To solve it and considering how fragile the material is, I have tested different materials until I obtained a texture that is similar but more resistant,_ Monteagudo said.

The sculptor, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida, with her husband and children, was raised in a family known for the art of her grandmother, a Sephardic Jew born in Tetouan, Morocco, and her mother, both ceramists.

_My training was in drawing, and since I was a child my passion was to draw, but growing up in a family of ceramists I discovered the art works_ third dimension,_ Monteagudo said.

The artist said she found inspiration in everyday objects, and her sculptures show diverse influences and subjects from pre-Columbian statuettes to pop and Japanese manga.

_I am very grateful now for growing up among artists,_ she said. _It was a blessing to have a tradition so close. I feel that art and inspiration are found in unexpected places and that is why my work has so many influences._

Earlier this month, Monteagudo won the Tequila Herradura Barrel Art Collection contest, which requires competitors to make an art work out of a traditional oak barrel.

_I called my entry _Happy Barrel_ because I liked the barrel, as an object, but it was challenging to work on with its texture, size and volume,_ Monteagudo said.

The barrel designed by the artist, who used her mixed media technique on papier mache, canvas and paint, shows a smiling face.

_It celebrates tequila, something fun inside an object that just in its manufacture carries a lot of tradition,_ Monteagudo said.

Latin American Herald Tribune |

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