Oscar Daniel Chávez Hernández
& José Andres Chávez Morales
Oscar was born in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, as was his father, José Andres. Oscar's father learned the technique of paper maché from his wife's siblings when he was 35 years old. He has continued this tradition for 22 years. Oscar then learned the technique from his father when he was 11. He and his father are the only artisans working on a larger scale with paper maché in the Pátzcuaro area.
Oscar is very thankful that his family was able to send him to college where he studied visual arts for four years at the Universidad Michoacána in the school of Bellas Artes.
Single, Oscar has no family of his own that assist him in his work. He and his father (in photo to the right) work together to create alebrijes, tiny insects, animals such as turkeys and roosters as well as hybrid animals as well as the viejito dancers, skeletons and catrinas that are Purépecha, revolutionaries, etc. They work with the traditional materials of cardboard, heavy paper and newspaper, as well as incorporating an old tradition of working with a type of wheat paste called engrudo. Oscar likes to continue to create new images and sometimes uses other organic materials such as cornhusks, pine needles and pine cones. Generally, their works vary in stature from tiny insects to human size skeletons although the majority of pieces are about 20 to 70 cm. All of their designs are original and they are continually creating new designs.
Oscar's dream is to be able to make a living through his art, his passion. In addition to paper maché, Oscar works in printing, sculpture and other art forms. He makes extra money by assisting the teacher and student artists in a local adult sculpture class.