an exhibition of 50 piñatas

 

popular decorations at many parties and celebrations across the globe, piñatas are handcrafted ephemeral objects conventionally associated with joy, festivity, and the exciting release of candy. besides that, they are also the main focus of the new dynamic in-person and virtual exhibition by the craft in america center, called ‘piñatas: the high art of celebration’. available for view until december 2021, the display showcases 50 piñata sculptures, exploring the cultural significance of the festive object, as well as its capacity for social and political commentary.

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
roberto benavidez, installation image

image by madison metro, courtesy of craft in america

 

the significance of the piñata

 

piñatas are intertwined with childhood experiences, gatherings of family and friends, and celebratory turning points in life– all of which have become much more precious to us in this era of COVID. as markers of these events, piñatas have new resonance and meaning today. the exhibition by craft in america (find more here) spotlights makers who creatively generate these objects in response to our shifting world. 

 

 

‘piñatas: the high art of celebration’ features 50 works from mexico- and US-based artists and collectives, presenting both traditional and more contemporary construction techniques. many of the pieces take shape as reinterpretations of conventional piñatas, revisiting materials, forms, functions, as well as the very notion of the piñata, to form a new language. meanwhile, all exhibits touch on the object’s cultural significance, which goes beyond its mexican heritage.

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
roberto benavidez, installation image, 2021

image by madison metro, courtesy of craft in america

 

piñatas as a means of expression

 

roberto benavidez’s intricate piñata creatures play with underlying themes of ephemerality, race, and sin, while francisco palomares crafts piñatas in 2D to highlights the beauty of the mundane and ordinary, by taking his subjects out of context, and making them worthy of a more thoughtful look. at the same time, justin favela manifest his interactions with american pop culture and the latinx experience into fringed abstract installations. other works include a uterus piñata by mari carson, a COVID-19 vaccine bottle by lisbeth palacios, and diana benavidez’s motorized cars that narrate her experiences growing up along the san diego/tijuana border. 

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
piñatas: the high art of celebration at craft in america, gallery installation view

image by madison metro, courtesy of craft in america

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
roberto benavidez, illuminated piñata no. 5., 2017

image by madison metro, courtesy of craft in america

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
roberto benavidez, illuminated hybrid no. 3, 2019

image courtesy of roberto benavidez

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
justin favela, ‘baño de los pescaditos (after josé maría velasco)’ (2019)

image courtesy of justin favela

an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
lorena robletto (amazing piñatas), ‘alebrije installation’ (2021)

image by madison metro, courtesy of craft in america 

 

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an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 
an exhibition of 50 piñatas touches on the cultural importance of the festive decoration
 

project info:

 

exhibition name: piñatas: the high art of celebration
by: craft in america center
dates: september 4, 2021 – december, 4,2021