Patrocinio Barela - The Legacy (1900-1964)
Patrociño Barela was a humble woodcarver from Taos, New Mexico. Patrocinio Barela is recognized by contemporary New Mexico santeros as a master woodcarver and a source of inspiration. His cedar carvings are expressive of the rich Indo-Hispano heritage of Northern New Mexico. He has been called the Picasso of the West. Artistically, his carvings are an evolution of the santero into the world of Modern Art.
Art historians and journalists consider Patrocinio Barela one of the most important and talented Mexican-American artists of our times.
Visit the Patrocinio Barela Exhibit on La Plaza Telecommunity's website to learn more about Patrocinio Barela and see more of his work.
- Art historians and journalists consider Patrocinio Barela one of the most important and talented Mexican-American artists of our times.
- Barela Style carvings are distinctive; with round, fluid shapes and forms that appear to emerge from the depths of the cedar wood.
- In 1936 at an exhibition of Works Progress Administration artists in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, Patrocinio Barela was recognized for his artistic genius and was the star of the show.
- In 1937 Time Magazine proclaimed him the "discovery of the year."
- Although he never realized financial rewards during his lifetime, Barela’s work is highly prized by art collectors and museums nationwide.
- After his tragic death in a studio fire in 1964, his distinctive carving style has influenced three generations of woodcarvers, Santeros, and artists in New Mexico.
- The legacy continues into the current generation, including three grandchildren, their families, and four great-grandchildren who are collectively known as the Barela Studio Artists.