Genuine figures that represent everything that an artisan feels while creating / elaborating one piece, in which they combine colors, shapes and textures. Although some alebrijes seem too similar, they are not, because these are handmade, there will always be differences between one piece and another, even if these are elaborated by the same artisan.
One piece can take one month or more to be finished, everything depends on the size and the number of details wanted to achieve in its elaboration.
Sometimes the person that is creating an alebrije has in mind one shape, but during the process the ideas change and the final figure can be very different from the original one.
The alebrijes can tell us stories that interwine together. When people observe an alebrije, it is possible to reflect about what the artisan wants to communicate through the art.
The artisan can create figures that seem very abstract at first sight, but indeed they tell us about the animal species that exist in a specific place, the roll that men have for their conservation, the possible ending of these animals if they are in danger of extinction, what they feel when they are threatened, or the alebrije could mean the emotional state of the artisan. The interpretation is infinite, a good observer can spend hours, days, weeks, or months trying to obtain different stories.
These figures can be made of paper or wood. The ones made with wood take more time to elaborate, resist even more and conserve intact its composition for a long time.
When we buy an alebrije, we take one part of the artisan, one instant of their world, this means that the masterpiece bought is priceless. It is not about the economical aspect, it is about the emotional side.
Through the time there has been many exhibitions in honor of the alebrijes, like for example “Alebrijes Monumentales” that represents some endangered species, these ones welcome the visitors of the zoo, in Chapultepec, at the temporary exhibition called “México Megadiverso”.
This collection of alebrijes is located at the main entrance of the zoo, in order that the visitors can appreciate it and learn about eight endangered species; the eagle, the axolotls, the leather back turtle, the white shark, the porpoise, the scarlet macaw, the jaguar, and the gray wolf.
During the inauguration of this exhibition, the secretary of environment in Mexico City highlight that the capital has an important variety of animal species in spite of its development, but it is important to reflect about the endangered species.
Oaxaca, located at the south of the Mexican country, is the home of alebrijes in this state you can find alebrijes of all sizes and colors.
The Oaxaqueños that work and elaborate these alebrijes have learned how to create this masterpieces through generations, it is a work that passes from one generation to the next, although each artisan elaborate a genuine piece.
The people that create alebrijes are called artisans, although we can also call them artists because they do excellent art works.