FOLK ART

FOLK ART

At Eye’s Gallery we carry folk art from all all over the world. From Latin America – Mexico, Guatemala, Peru… – to India, Tibet, and Africa – and more!

Our folk art home decor, furniture, tableware, instruments, sculptures, and other interesting objects are either new, handcrafted, and purchased via fair trade, or vintage and antique pieces with amazing personality, history, and gorgeous patina.

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

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The above images are glimpses into the interior of Eye’s Gallery – for specific folk art categories, view our CeramicsTextiles, Furniture, Masks, Oaxacan Carvings, Joel Garcia, and Frida Kahlo pages.

Visiting our Philadelphia store is much like a trip around the world. Browse our handpicked & curated items in a warm and wonderful, colorful, artistic atmosphere.

FRIDA KAHLO

FRIDA KAHLO

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, best known for her self-portraits. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition. We carry a colorful collection of jewelry, books, clothing, decorated boxes known as nichos, and many other folk art items- all dedicated to Frida.

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

DAY OF THE DEAD

DAY OF THE DEAD

Los Dias de los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd is an important religious holiday in Mexico. Coinciding with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, it is an occasion marked by festive celebrations to honor the dead. Cemeteries are cleaned and decorated, special food and candies cooked, and home altars are designed in homage to one’s ancestors. It is a day of joyous remembrance, not of sadness. The special songs, poems, foods, and toys created for El Dia de los Muertos reflect this outlook.

Sugar Skulls

Sugar skulls are often used to decorate the ofrendas (offerings) on Dia de los Muertos. Smaller skulls are placed on the ofrenda on November 1st to represent the children who have deceased. On November 2nd they are replaced by larger, more ornate skulls which represent the adults. These decorative skulls sometimes have the name of the deceased on the forehead and are decorated with stripes, dots and swirls of icing to enhance the features of the skulls. The designs are usually whimsical and brightly colored, not morbid or scary. Feathers, beads or colored foils are “glued” on with the icing to create highly ornate skulls.

To make your own, you can purchase the special meringue powder as well as a sugar skull mold from our web shop. Or stop in for a larger selection of molds.

 

Day of the Dead Figurines

The many moods and faces of Mexican culture and customs are captured to represent the spirit and souls of the deceased in our Day of the Dead collection, in addition to pop cultural icons, animals, and other playful incarnations.

Here at Eye’s, we don’t stop there. From books to socks, coin purses to candles, we’ll meet your Day of the Dead celebratory needs, all year round!

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.


MASKS

We carry one-of-a-kind, vintage masks from all parts of Mexico. Masks were an important part of Mexican culture long before the Spanish arrived. Today, masks are mostly found in the southern, central, and northwestern states of Mexico where many Indian populations live.

Masks are still used at many festivals and ceremonial dances. Many of the masked dances are performed to secure happiness and good fortune.

Mexican masks Philadelphia

In most areas masks are made by specialists but sometimes dancers make their own. Carved and painted wood is the most common material used. Masks are also made from leather, paper mache, clay, cloth, cardboard, wire mesh, gourds and wax.

We also carry masks from other parts of Latin America including Bolivia and Guatemala, as well as across the globe from such places as India and Africa.  For specific questions, please contact us!

 

 

MEXICAN CERAMICS

MEXICAN CERAMICS

Ceramics is one of the most popular forms of Mexican folk art, and one of the most ancient. Pottery is found throughout the country, in many different styles and forms.

 

Villages often specialize in making certain types of pottery. In many areas of the country women might make the common ware like containers for food and liquids, and men the decorative pieces used for ceremonies, household decoration or for sale.

Our collection ranges from common everyday pottery (la coza corriente), to colorful animal and human figurines to large clay pieces. We have a sizable selection by famous artists such as Gorky Gonzalez, and Josefina Aguilar and her family, as well as black clay pottery and a variety of ceramic tiles.

 The tree of life (candelabra) is a popular form of art in Mexico. Shaped in the form of a tree, it is then crafted in great detail, the branches populated with figures, flowers, fruit, animals and other subject matter. Trees of life usually hold candles and are often placed as decorative objects at weddings, churches, funerals, and various special occasions.

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

TEXTILES

TEXTILES

Our beautiful collection of textiles is comprised of new, vintage, and antique pieces from all over the world, including India, Mexico, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Africa.

 

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

We also have a great variety of Indian tapestries to choose from.

Indian Tapestries Colorful Bed Spreads Eyes Gallery Philadelphia Textiles

Besides bedding, our customers use these textiles as wall or ceiling tapestries, table cloths and couch covers. Tapestries are an easy and quick way to add a special touch, or a wonderful centerpiece to your home decor.

OAXACAN WOOD CARVINGS

OAXACAN WOOD CARVINGS

These imaginative and brilliantly colored figures are hand-carved and painted in tiny villages in the state of Oaxaca, home of the Zapotec Indians in Southern Mexico. Oaxacan (pronounced Wa-Haw-Ken) wood carvings are whimsical and enchanting works of art that have captivated collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.

Each carving is an original work of art and no two pieces are identical. The sculptures are handmade from Copal wood from the hills surrounding the Oaxacan Valley using machetes and pocket knives. Artists carve the basic shape of a figure in a few days, then sand and meticulously hand paint each piece in great detail. It can take up to a full week to complete one sculpture.

The artists use fantasy and imagination in their painting to make the animals and creatures appear more alive.

 

There are limited supplies of carvings available at any given time, and it is possible that each piece may appreciate in value, as many of these figures  become collector’s items. To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

JOEL GARCIA

JOEL GARCIA

Joel Garcia is a papier-mâché artist from Mexico City. His work has been featured in galleries and museums throughout Mexico and the United States. Joel (pronounced “ho-el”) follows a centuries old tradition of creating papier-mâché figures that are both ceremonial and decorative. Joel’s pieces incorporate a variety of sculpture techniques that include molds, metal wire and bamboo armatures, and miniature assemblages. His pieces are brightly colored with acrylic and aniline paints. His playful creations incorporate themes from nature, religion, historical and cultural events. He is most famous for his interpretation of characters found in the works of Jose Guadalupe Posada, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. His colorful muertos adorn many an altar during Day of the Dead festivities.

 

To inquire about availability, please call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.

 

 

 

MEXICAN RETABLO AND EX-VOTO ART

The retablo is an art form that flourished in colonial Mexico, reaching the height of its popularity in the latter part of the 19th century. Painted primarily by provincial, untrained artists on inexpensive materials such as copper, tin, and wood, these small works depicted scenes using symbolic, allegorical, and religious imagery. Often unsigned, retablos were sometimes commissioned by individuals, but were most frequently sold by peddlers door to door or at churches during festivals. Figures on retablos are depicted in such a way that holy persons and saints are identifiable from their costumes and attributes. A three-quarter view is almost always used to depict a holy person. The remaining imagery is usually shown in size according to a hierarchical scale of importance.

A similar form, “ex-votos,” are devotional paintings which offer thanks to a particular saint in the form of a short narrative. The origin of the term is Latin, and means “for solemn vow or promise.” An ex-voto painting is typically comprised of three elements: a scene depicting a tragedy or someone with a grave illness or injury, a depiction of the intervention of a saint on behalf of the afflicted, and an inscription describing the tragic event and which gives thanks for the divine intervention.

We have been working to add a selection of this popular art form to our website shop. Many of our pieces are vintage and some are even antiques. Check back for more offerings, or to inquire about availability, call us at 215-925-0193 or follow us on Instagram for our most recent acquisitions.