Traditional Mexican folk-art masks portray surreal and sometimes hellish characters from the country’s unique folklore. These masks celebrate Mexican traditions and customs; they are worn in festivals, cultural events, and theatrical performances to represent certain aspects of old tales. Furniture designer Ana Jiminez created a line of five storage pieces which emulate the unique characteristics of the colorful masks.
Los Enmascarados, or The Masked Men, represents traditional Mexican masks in a colorful, contemporary way. Like the masks, each represents a human trait or an abstract idea of a person. The Double Face (top image) represents the constant human battle between good and evil – the good being the lighter, calmer part and the evil sprouting a colorful extra set of legs from its head. Above, The Old Man stands with stooped shoulders and The Buffoon waves his arms to entertain a crowd.
The Devil stands poised with his arms above his head as though he were ready to pounce on an unsuspecting passer-by. The Drunk Lady balances on a wobbly base, looking as though she might topple at any moment. Each piece does double duty as a unique piece of art and a functional table, bureau, or chest. Like the masks they are modeled after, the pieces all encapsulate some aspect of Mexican folklore. Jiminez’ work not only references her personal cultural background; it speaks to the very human characteristics we all share.