Alejandro Colunga, Mexican (1948 - )

Alejandro Colunga
Alejandro Colunga was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, December 11, 1948. A self-taught artist, Colunga creates images that bring to mind popular art traditions in Mexico.

Alejandro Colunga is a visual artist working in the Latin American tradition of surrealism and fantasy. He is part of the movement referred to as Nueva Mexicanidad. As a young man, he studied architecture and later joined a circus before devoting himself to painting.

Colunga cites Rufino Tamayo as one of the artists who have influenced him. An admiration for Mexican folk art is evident in his work, as is a familiarity with the art of India and other cultures. Colunga has studied in the workshops of master artisans in Mexico and often uses traditional techniques in ceramics and wood sculpture.

Much of Colunga’s imagery is based on folk stories he heard as a child. Characters like La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) and Chamuco (The Devil) appear in his work. He uses the device of exaggerating human anatomy (such as filling the canvas with a single figure whose head is tiny) along with exuberant color to create a sense of “bewitchment.”

He studied architecture, music and tourism from 1968-1972

He has participated in many exhibitions, individually and collectively since 1968, in the United States, Mexico, Europe and South America.

Some of his works of art form part of important private collections as well as museum collections.

He works on ambitious sculptural projects integrating water tanks, iron, crystal and live fish.

His home base is Guadalajara where he develops most of his projects. Although he has his own workshops, he also works in different shops around the world.

In 1988 he received the "Minervra a las Artes" prize.

In 1994 he received the "Jalisco a las Artes" prize and the "Arquitectura" prize for the sculpture "La Sala de los Magos", which is situated in from of the Hospicio Cabanas, in the category of open spaces.

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