Mexican art – Decorative objects from the culture of Mexico


Crafts are the best way to access a country's history and popular culture. It is up to the style, the raw material and the defined technique of the visual arts to narrate the aspects inherent to the construction of cultural identity, such as, for example, ethnic, religious and artistic influences. And this perspective makes evident the value of art in the preservation of cultural heritage.

In this context, historically colonized countries do not only have native characteristics, since they incorporate the cultural heritage of their colonizers. This is the case of Mexico when integrating original artistic production, based on the ancestry of Mesoamerican peoples, to Spanish traditions.

This harmonious crossing of cultures is the great differential of Mexican art, which gives up the untouchable pedestal of a work of art to dialogue more closely with the world through decorative objects . In this way, Mexican handicrafts , mostly produced with black or brown clay , bring the essence of Mexico into the home in order to provide the environment with greater visual interest.

Ceramic art: Árbol de la Vida and La Catrina

The mix of cultural elements makes decorative objects even more valuable.

Clay, one of the most used raw materials in Mexican handicrafts , emerges from the soil rich in minerals, displaying the best of Mexico's culture with such grandeur. Embracing everything from utilitarian objects to expressly decorative objects, with shades ranging from brown to black clay, ceramic art offers interior decoration a mixture of symbols and cultural traditions as a differentiating factor.

This is the case of the Tree of Life ( Árbol de la Vida ), a symbol of the Catholic Bible, a religion inherent in Spanish beliefs incorporated into the indigenous pottery traditions of the natives of Mexico. By appropriating this religious influence, artisans from Metepec, the traditional Land of Clay, keep alive clay crafts enriched with cultural heritage such as the figure of the Mexican skull La Catrina .

This creation by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, considered a symbol of the Day of the Dead, is, above all, a social critique of the devaluation of indigenous culture and equality between social classes in the face of death. The Tree of Life with Catrina therefore symbolizes the cycle of life that everyone experiences, without social or cultural distinction.

Sacred art: Piñata and Fiesta del Nacimiento

Religious art is one of the most significant Spanish influences on Mexican culture.

Sacred art, with religious influence, is another handicraft category with a strong expression in Mexican culture. It ranges from ancestral traditions based on Mesoamerican indigenous beliefs to Spanish ones such as the Catholic religion. In this context, it is up to the craftsmen to choose the theme or mix them to make religious art an enriching and exclusive decoration.

The Piñata clay sculpture ( Pinhata or Pichorra) is one of these artifices to convey the Mexican cultural richness and maintain originality as the guiding thread of the environment. Commemorative crafts of Chinese origin, initially associated with the celebration of Lent and the liberation from sins, were established in Mexico through the Jesuit missions and today remain a key element of the main celebrations – private and universal.

Christmas ( Navidad or Nacimiento de Jesus ) is one of these themed festivities, and in this work of art by Cecilio Sanchez fills detail by detail of the Mexican Pinata handmade. The profusion of ornamentation and color is also explored in the ephemeral papier-mâché art that is hollowed out and filled with candy to be destroyed as a symbol of good luck.

Historic art: pewter and Talavera tile

The Talavera art of Mexico displays the mastery of Mexican artisans in decorated ceramics.

The soul of Spanish culture, as well as Aztec and Mayan culture, is manifested in different types of Mexican handicrafts and decorative arts. The mirror with a perforated pewter frame and colored Talavera tiles is one of those historic pieces of art.

The decorated mirror is developed from the ceramicist tradition of Talavera de la Reina, a municipality in Spain considered the City of Ceramics. He leaves aside the focus on the usefulness of reflection to give prominence to the large colored frame, completely handcrafted using techniques from the 16th century.

The colorful and diversified patterns of the Talavera ceramic tiles, also known as Maiolica, are glazed and give the piece a special touch together with the designs engraved in pewter. The metal is sometimes aged and has perforated patterns with the same artistic painting style as the pottery that reflects the traditions and artistic influences of Mexican artisans.

Pottery: ceramic objects by Paquimé

The ceramic art is inspired by artifacts from Paquimé, a World Heritage archaeological site.

The Mexican decorative artistic scene reveals that the greatest relics of the Paquimé Archaeological Site are its eccentric ceramics with ethnic designs. These historic artifacts left by pre-Columbian peoples in the reputed Unesco World Heritage Site, leave an intrinsic domain of the ceramist art, which has a special production of decorative vases .

Developed in Casas Grandes, the former cultural and artistic center of the Mexican State of Chihuahua, the handmade ceramic vases are divided into two main styles, according to the chrome paintings ( Ramos Polychrome and Babicora Polychrome ), which differ in the highlight of the colors of the graphics. The polychrome ceramics are also different due to the thin walls of the pieces that contemplate the innovative formats with more delicacy.

The geometric style of the drawings and shapes of the Paquimé ceramic vases points to the pictorial appreciation and the extremely symbolic iconographic richness of the pieces. It also lets the figures of the fauna and flora of Chihuahua appear without being obvious, giving the decoration a very creative and original ethnic bias.

Art in clay: Oaxaca black clay sculpture

Oaxacan pottery is marked by shiny black clay and details cut into the body of the pieces.

The dark color with a metallic sheen is what transforms the black clay lamp from Oaxaca into truly exclusive pieces for candlelight. It is obtained through the special properties of the region's clay added to the polishing technique, prior to burning the candle holder, with thick black smoke.

Ceramist art has an artistic mastery that is especially notorious in hollow details. The abstract designs are accentuated with the warm light of the candle, breaking the apparent coldness of the black clay and letting the beams of candle lighting invade the environment, making it more beautiful and welcoming.

In each decorative object, Mexican art is expressed in an enriching way, highlighting a different aspect of the culture to create a unique decoration. If you want to know them all, just access the Mexico category in our online store !


Milene Sousa – Art & Tune


Rosangela de Fátima P.S.de Melo
Rosangela de Fátima P.S.de Melo

Muito lindo os artesanatos e cultura muito interessante


Muito lindos

Simone de jesus
Simone de jesus

Achei super interessante,adoro esse tipo de artes e pinturas

Patricia Provencio
Patricia Provencio

Gostei muito interessante seus trabalhos de artesanatos

Sandra de Paula
Sandra de Paula

Muito lindo demais

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