Best known for his wooden animal sculptures, Felipe Archuleta began by carving animals such as rabbits, sheep, and burros around his home in New Mexico. The more exotic animals came later and were inspired by images he saw in National Geographic magazine. (Nancy Schraffenberger, “A Natural Talent,” Guideposts, March 1987) In the 1970s the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe exhibited his work, and subsequently Archuleta found his carvings in great demand from collectors. The artist was both pleased and dismayed by the attention he received: although he enjoyed having his work praised, he felt pressure to keep up with special requests and was often unable to attend to his own interests. (Lynette I. Rhodes, American Folk Art: From the Traditional to the Naïve, 1978). Bottlecap Snake was made for a collector from the bottle caps he had saved.
“I am not worthy to be a santero [carver of wooden saints]. So I will carve animals.” Felipe Archuleta, quoted in Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia, 1990
- 1 3⁄4 x 80 7⁄8 x 1 3⁄4 in. (4.5 x 205.5 x 4.5 cm)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
- Mediums Description
- mixed media: bottlecaps, carved wood, inner tube, wire, ink marker, paint, wood pulp, and adhesive
- Animal – reptile – snake
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