Monday, July 20, 2015

Nicholas Herrera: El Rito's "santero" who carves saints In modern clothing

WFAE | 90.7FM 
By John Burton
Photograph by Norman Mauskoff, 2004
NEW MEXICO---There are two things that have put El Rito on the map. In the little village in northern New Mexico, there's a tiny cafe that serves the best red-chili Frito pie in the world. And then there's the santero — Nicholas Herrera. As a santero, or saint carver, Herrera continues a tradition of Spanish religious art that goes back to the 1700s in this remote part of the American Southwest. But his works are not relics. He carves edgy, comic, satirical pieces that reflect contemporary realities of the hispanos of the high desert. [Listen]

Nicholas Herrera does not limit himself to traditional folk art or santos.