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Alejandro Cabezut
MEXICO FACES
4min of reading

Drawing from Mexico’s rich cultural tradition and connection to the natural world, photographer Alejandro Cabezut features the work of local folkloric artisans alongside up-cycled denim fashion in this special series. In a bid to explore the complex relationship our industry has with sustainability and the conservation of the natural world, Cabezut collaborated with stylist Nayeli De Alba and artisans Trece Anfibio and Niño Calavera Taller.

Trece Anfibio is a creative studio inspired by Mexican cultural syncretism from a contemporary perspective that draws on global visual diversity. This language is developed in multiple techniques. With an interdisciplinary spirit, it seeks, based on the creation of images, to be a voice that complements and enriches other arts to create content that, both in dreams and fantasy, manage to open new dialogues with the viewer.

The cartonería (Papier-mâché) already carries in itself a heritage of culture and tradition, which is printed and adds to the value of each piece. This technique is culturally rich, and is in favour of the rescue and preservation of tradition. This technique does not affect the environment and promote the culture of recycling.

In addition to this, creating from more manual processes is also a political position that goes against mass production in relation to empty consumerism. Trece Anfibio seek to give value and care to process from design to finish for each piece.

Inspired from the theatrical field, each mask has its own concept, that will be enhanced by a series of personality traits, to make them unique. By carrying or dancing them, their value is enhanced, a ritual of otherness is generated, the swing of playing at being the other, of recognizing what one is not and reaffirming that finding.

Each mask has a preliminary sketch that we will later take to three-dimensionality from the modeling in plasticine on a head, to the wallpapering process, of which our material is paper and cardboard.

Niño Calavera Taller is a artisanal studio focusing on preserving and propagating folkloric mexican art, taking the foundations of history, tradition, and techniques of the grand masters that have honed and refined the Papier-mâché craft through generations.

The artisanal foundations of the studio focus on creating traditional Masks and Alebrijes, which are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical / mythical creatures.

Alebrijes, which were first founded upon the traditions of Mexico City Papier-mâché artist Pedro Linares, display fantastical creatures that are created from natural materials, recycled paper strips, and glued together with wheat, flour, and water.

In contrast to many western ideas of art making, which postulates extreme emphasis on high-end materials often sourced through obtuse practices, the traditional "Técnica en Cartonería” exclusively focuses on using materials that were not explicitly designed to create art, but rather through resourceful and conscientious recycling and repurposing of materials to create results that provide great cultural value and outwardly signal that great beauty and craft is not dependent upon the perceived value of the materials which are being used.

Throughout the ideation and building process, the creation of these traditional masks and alebrijes are founded upon sustainable materials that are typically disregarded due to lack of regard for their value.

In this tradition, discarded cardboard, newspaper, and paper shearlings are gathered and sculpted with a skeleton created by carrizo, a reed-like plant that grows in extreme abundance in most parts of Mexico and used for a variety of different Mexican artisanal art. All sculptures are also put together using natural glue created with a mixture of water, flour, and wheat.

Photographer
Alejandro Cabezut
Styling

NAYELI DE ALBA

Hair

ALDO EK

Makeup

JUANMA CONSTANTINO

Props

ROJA

Production

VALENTINA KELLY

Model

KARLA ESPIRITU

Model

LUISA RODRIGUEZ JIMENEZ

Model

JUAN CAMPO

Digital tech

ROCIO MASCAYANO

Photo assistant

JAVIER SG

Photographer
Alejandro Cabezut
Styling

NAYELI DE ALBA

Hair

ALDO EK

Makeup

JUANMA CONSTANTINO

Props

ROJA

Production

VALENTINA KELLY

Model

KARLA ESPIRITU

Model

LUISA RODRIGUEZ JIMENEZ

Model

JUAN CAMPO

Digital tech

ROCIO MASCAYANO

Photo assistant

JAVIER SG

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