THE SANTIAGO FAMILY (San Antonio Arrazola)


José (Pepe) Santiago Ibañez

José Santiago Ibañez (nicknamed Pepe), along with his enormous extended family, carves wooden figures. They specialize in native animals such as armadillos and iguanas, fantasy figures such as winged horses, two-headed serpents (“alebrijes”) and mermaids.  In addition there are masks that derive from the tradition of Pepe’s parents, who produced an unpainted variety.  Some of his work leans to the commercial side, including boxes and picture frames. The combination of good quality and reasonable prices provides an alternative to the higher prices of some other artists in this pueblo.



Magdalena Santiago Ramírez

Magdalena decoratively painted this piece carved by her husband, Orlando Mandarín Ramírez. They jointly decided to participate in the juried competition with this figure. This type of figure is unusual for artisans from Arrazola, their “pueblo.” It is distinguished from more traditional Catrinas by the fine delineation of its waist, breasts and buttocks, and its beautiful accessories, such as its dress and parasol. The diamond shapes of the painting presented a challenge to Magdalena who had never before experimented with this type of decoration. She is gratified that her work is appreciated, for this motivates her to improve every day.


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