Los Amores (the lovers)

DETAILS: designed and hand carved by Daniel Barela, 2023

MATERIAL: local red cedar (rocky mountain juniper)

TERRAIN: made in Talpa, New Mexico

  • 10” tall (hearts), 6” tall (head) 6” wide, 4” base
  • edition 1 of 1
  • part of the ‘con amor’ collection

MAIDA is so excited to share Barela’s work, as it’s the first santero artist in the collective - santos are a beautiful part of New Mexicos art practice that is alive and well - made from endemic cedar also known as rocky mountain juniper some of the oldest and most sacred trees in our part of the world.

'CON AMOR' is clearly straight from the artists heart, it has valentines celebration and celebrates all things amor.Each piece carved from one single piece of red cedar, keeping the integrity of the wood like his great-grandfather did. From lovers, to parent/child relationships, this sweet collection has so much energy I almost don't want the pieces to leave our home.

Daniel Barela is a 4th generation santero, or wood carver. Taught how to carve by his father - Barela grew up in Talpa on his families land in Taos amongst stock piles of cedar wood for carving, collected and tended to for generations. When Barela wants to start a carving, he walks to his families wood pile and looks for pieces with innate movement and a spirit that speaks to him. He then levels the wood,  studies it for an hour, or a day, determines what he sees within it, and begins to carve what’s already there.

His great-great grandfather was Patriciño Barela, who had a show at the MOMA in the 1930’s, and was named TIME Magazine's "discovery of the year". Daniel began carving at the age of eleven and has been a part of or won at Spanish Market ever since.