This June 29, 2021, the Mexican artist Pedro Linares López would have turned 115 years old and for that reason Google decided to dedicate a doodle to him.
Linares is the father of alebrijes, nail funny figures of fantastic animals, made from cardboard, which are traditionally made in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
For their bright colors and their magical fantasy they are very famous in Mexico, but they are known throughout the world as unique products of the Mexican folk art tradition.
A nightmare that turned into a dream
The first alebrijes were the product of a nightmare of the artist, who fell ill at the age of 30.
He dreamed that he was walking through a forest in which hybrid and colorful animals appeared before him.
They were the alebrijes, as they themselves told him.
Once recovered, Linares began to elaborate them and they soon became popular.
Skilled 12-year-old craftsman
Linares López was born in Mexico City, on June 29, 1906.
His father worked as papier-mâché or cardboard sculptor, and trained Linares to follow in his footsteps.
By the time he was 12, he had already become a skilled papier-mâché artisan.
Elaborated piñatas and traditional ones calaveras that are featured in the annual celebration of the Day of the Dead.
Alebrijes were not very successful at first, but Linares decided to refine the technique and little by little his reputation grew.
So much so that it attracted the admiration of the iconic Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
But it was a 1975 documentary on Linares by filmmaker Judith Bronowski that raised him to fame.
In 1990, he was awarded the first National Prize of Arts and Sciences of Mexico in the category of Popular Arts and Traditions.
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