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Vochol: Huichol Art on Wheels at SDMA

Cultures collide in a celebration of art and faith this month at The San Diego Museum of Art. Vochol:Huichol Art on Wheels puts art in motion on the most unlikely canvas with the presentation of 2,277,000 glass beads arranged on a classic Volkswagon Bug. Talk about a perfect car for cruising up to Coachella this spring.

From the 1960s to present day, the Volkswagon Bug has reinvented itself throughout the ages, remaining a relevant symbol of popular culture. The detailed ways in which the colorful beads are applied to the mobile canvas is a testament to Mexican pop art, showcasing traditional patterns and designs that create one collective masterpiece. Beyond aesthetic appeal, the vibrant image embodies the ethos of Huichol culture.

The Huichol culture includes approximately 26,000 people who live primarily in the western states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Zacatecas. This culture is known for a dedication to the visual arts, from yarn paintings to intricate beadwork on a variety of objects. To the deeply spiritual Huichol people, their artistic creations are believed to be an extension of their faith. And now, their work is hitting the road with Vochol:Huichol Art on Wheels, which took seven months to make, and was organized by the Asociaciónde Amigos del Museo de Arte Popular (AAMAP) and Governments of the States of Nayarit and Jalisco.

Coming from the Museo de Arte Popular, the Vochol is kicking off an international tour at The San Diego Museum of Art on January 19 and will be on display through March 10.  The Vochol will then drive on to the esteemed Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. and the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris. Interested drivers can purchase the Vocholduring the finale auction put on by the Friends of el Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City, with proceeds to benefit the work of Mexican artisans.

Photos by Alejandro Piedra Buena

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