Oscar Zamarripa was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1949. He studied fine arts with a concentration in sculpture at the University of Guadalajara. In 1975, he received the Luis Echeverria Medal, recognizing Oscar as Mexico’s best sculpture student. Oscar later taught sculpture as an art professor at the University of Guadalajara. He has been exhibiting his work for 40 years throughout Mexico, the U.S.A. and Latin America and is represented exclusively in the U.S. by the Brad Smith Gallery.
Oscar works in a variety of materials including stone, bronze and wood. He is a master of the ancient technique of ‘estofado,’ which has been used in the Catholic Church for centuries in sculptural reproductions of religious figures. ‘Estofado’ involves a special paint finish over silver and gold leaf that has been applied to finely carved wooden figures. All of Oscar’s works are one of a kind, usually two-sided and featuring two faces and bodies emphasizing different aspects of the same character. Oscar’s work is often categorized as magical realism. They are semi-figurative leaning toward the fantastic.
“My work was born out of the necessity to share my soul with the spectator,” says Oscar, “Based on the vivid fantasies of my childhood, I resurrect the past- the dances and rituals of the pre-Hispanic peoples in order to keep them alive today.” His otherworldly shamans reference Mayan and Aztec cultures as well as the personal history of his family. He creates molds of pieces of lace crocheted by his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and casts them in bronze to create fantastic headdresses for his abstract figures. At the base of his sculptures one can often find a single shoe, an homage to his father who was a shoemaker.
We invite you to explore the fantastic world created by this brilliant master.