Saturday, April 11, 2009

Paper Judas inspiration

The Saturday before Easter people in Mexico used to burn paper mache figures called "Judas". I still remember street vendors selling crazy looking mini judas figures at the main plaza in Coyoacan. The Judas pictured above hangs at Bazaar del Sabado, a fancy crafts market in Mexico City.

Muralist Diego Rivera was a collector of Judas figures. His main supplier was a humble woman named Carmen Caballero. Carmen was a "Judera" extraordinaire. She made her creations out of wire, reeds, newspaper and brown paper bags. Rivera loved Caballero's natural talent. He would hang her creations all over his studio. His wife Frida Kahlo would even dress them in her old clothes. Rivera claimed that sculptor Henry Moore's modernistic sculptures were inspired by Carmen's Judas, after Moore saw them during a visit to his studio. What do you think? Does the winged devil pictured above looks like a modernistic sculpture?

If you want to read more about Judas figures visit Papier Mache UK. They feature an article I wrote about paper mache and ephemeral art.

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