Felipe Morales (b. 1959)
Felipe Morales is another one of Oaxaca’s self-taught artists. He has been recognized internationally as a “contemporary voice of Mexico.” Like so many of the artisans from this region, he is inspired by the age-old landscape and the fantastic stories that play an important role in everyday life. The traditional rituals and Magical Realism depicted in his work result from a complex interplay of spirituality, legends and myths that have been passed down in the oral tradition of his hometown (Ocotlán). The mystical and the human live hand in hand and are aware of one another in Morales’s scenes. Like an artisan, his work is direct, honest and simply stated. A firm belief in the unseen and a deep-seated reverence for the natural world (which is often presented as the bridge between the sacred and the secular), give life to Morales’s vision, cast of characters and events. The woman depicted carrying a cathedral can be seen as a metaphor of the age old male dominated religious institution that is in fact passed on from generation to generation mainly by women. Or it can be seen simply and logically enough, in the artist’s reality, as a woman carrying a cathedral.