The Jacobo and María Angeles Workshop created two “Guardians” to live in New York City, with the mission of accompanying and protecting all Latin American, Mexican and Oaxacan migrants who live or are about to arrive in the United States looking for a better future for their tribes. These two monumental figures are part of the story raised in «Nomads».
As their name implies, they keep everything that the tribe considers valuable: its traditions, customs and cultural identity. They are responsible for providing security in every war and adversity that nomads go through on their journey, protecting the essence that each member of the community carries with them.
With their wisdom and leadership, the Eagle and Jaguar guardians work for the safety of the clan by land and air, as they are hybrid beings, very resistant and strong.
The jaguar is cautious and strategic,
fighting for his pack by day and
vigilant at night.
While the eagle, with his force of
flight, keeps his sight on the horizon,
towards the future, safeguarding the
future of the tribe.
In 2021 the workshop exhibits “Nomads”, a collection that represents three years of work and effort. It tells a story that raises a vision about a dystopian future where science merges with ancestral Zapotec beliefs, going against nature by genetically experimenting with human beings, fusing them with animal characteristics to give them greater longevity, resistance and adaptation to the land, causing displacement and migration of humans and animals.
Oaxaca is a state that is characterized by its gastronomic, artistic and natural diversity distributed among the regions that make it up; it is a place that envelops you in an atmosphere of tradition, customs and flavors; its cultural legacy positions it as one of the most important destinations in Mexico.
The history of ancient civilizations remains latent in their regions that were once inhabited by great cultures such as the Mixtec and Zapotec. One of these is the Ocotlán Valley, in which San Martín Tilcajete is located, a town that stands out for the craft of carving figures in copal wood popularly known as alebrijes.
The artists Jacobo and María originally from Tilcajete, a place where a few years ago the main work was the field and there was a great migration to the United States, made the decision to start their family workshop carving tonas and nahuales, which represent protective animals and spirit guides decorated with symbols of the Zapotec culture.
The Jacobo y María Ángeles Workshop is founded on the principle of communality, teaching, learning, sharing and contributing. With this way of life, they have worked for 27 years, proposing another possibility in the form and substance of this profession, hoping to generate a source of work for their family and community as an alternative to remain in their land. Thanks to this, they have managed to position themselves as a great representative of popular art in the state of Oaxaca, and lately creating proposals that reflect on their environment.
The workshop, its collaborators and all those involved in this project thank the Government of the State of Oaxaca for the trust placed in their work and the opportunity to be representatives of the artisan trade in New York City.