Juan Quezada, Mata Ortiz


Juan Quezada, Mata Ortiz
7.75” Height x 7”

A young Mexican boy looking for firewood finds a pottery shard from a Pre-Hispanic culture. So began a creative and artistic explosion in the little town of Mata Ortiz in Chihuahua. Discovered in the 70’s by American collectors, museums and cultural institutions, Mata Ortiz pottery is unarguably some of the most exquisite hand coiled primitively made pottery in the world. The young boy was Juan Quezada Celado. He combed the archeological site of Casas Grandes (Pacquime`) for inspiration. Through trial and error, he learned the old ways and began to make his own version of a lost art. Self-taught, he then shared his discoveries and techniques with talented family members and others in the town. Relying on simple tools: a bone, a stone, or a fine brush made with the hair of a child, they created an earthquake in the world of handmade pottery

The basis of many of the designs originated from the prehistoric Pacquime Pueblo pottery. Not being part of any tradition allows for the artist’s own interpretation to come into play. Therefore, the variety and breathtaking detail, the futuristic shapes of vessels, jars and vases, all combine to create a new vision, a distinctive art form that goes beyond form and function. Each artist’s creative mind is hand painted, etched or carved on the surfaces or delineated with the precision of a computer. The pieces they have created must be seen in person to truly appreciate the juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity that is Mata Ortiz Pottery and Sculpture.

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