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a remarkable Felipe Benito Archuleta carved

wood folk art pig, Tesuque, NM,1982

 In our opinions, this piece is absolutely outstanding in every way--as good as Felipe Benito Archuleta's work ever gets which is quite good indeed. Archuleta’s distinctive folk art figures are held in important collections in major museums all over the world including the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York City where a life-sized wooden Archuleta tiger figure is on prominent display in the main lobby.

This terrific figure is a fierce, but lovably sweet-looking black-and-white male pig with very large and prominent purple-painted “huevos" or testicles, a prominent display of his virile manhood or machismo. Archuleta was well known for his propensity to project a degree of exaggerated sexuality in certain of his figures for dramatic and/or comic effect. Felipe Archuleta’s full-sized pig figures are fairly rare, we have only seen 5 or 6 of them over the past 35 years, including the two figures which were recently on display at the 2014-2015 "Wooden Menagerie" exhibition of Felipe Archuleta’s work and that of his family and followers at The Museum of International Folk Art here in Santa Fe.

This pig’s previous owners purchased him directly from Felipe Archuleta at his studio in the small village of Tesuque, NM just a few miles north of Santa Fe, soon after he was made in 1982. He remained in their Santa Fe collection for the next 31 years until we purchased the piece from them in 2013. The figure measures 38" long and stands 19 1/2" in height. He is 12" wide at the widest point. The figure is properly dated, titled and signed as follows in thick black paint on his underside: "10-10-1982-PIG BY-F.B.A.". The "BY-F.B.A." part of this signature indicates that Archuleta made this piece entirely by himself without the assistance of his apprentices. The figure is in generally excellent original condition with a couple of minor nicks and scrapes here and there.

In our view, this crazy, lovable, dopey, mucho macho pig is the very essence of Felipe Archuleta’s unique folk art.

How can anyone resist that snarling, slightly goofy, sweet face and those wild green eyes, and, of course, his oversized prominent purple huevos and matching big purple snout? In our opinions, he actually looks remarkably similar to Felipe Archuleta himself. We have a longstanding theory, crazy or maybe not, that many of Felipe's animal depictions are really just various different self-portraits of the artist himself.

This is a unique and distinctive artwork by one of the most talented and original folk artists the world has ever seen.

Price $11,500 plus shipping

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Felipe Benito Archuleta in Tesuque, NM

Photo copyright 1976 by Davis Mather