Artist to display 22-ft. sculpture at Sunday’s Dia de los Muertos

DOWNEY − It takes Martin Sanchez about a year and half to collect and assemble just the right materials for his mega-sized whimsical sculptures, such as the 22’-high “Traveling the World/Dando la Vuellta al Mundoy” which will be on display at the Downey Dia de los Muertos Art Festival this Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Downey Theatre and surrounding civic center, from 11 a.m. -8 p.m. Sanchez is part of a movement often referred to as “found” art, a school that uses repurposed materials to create mixed media three dimensional pieces such as collage, posters, sculpture, murals and other art expressions.

Sanchez’s works have an intentional lightness and playful exuberance despite their height and weight. Growing up in Michoacan, Mexico, poor, and mostly uneducated, Sanchez missed out on childhood. He said that the art he creates today is the stand-in for the toys and the lighthearted youth that he did not experience.

He describes the process of creating his sculptures as his adult version of “play.”

Sanchez, who has been an artist for the past 19 years, said that even as a child he had the sprit of an artist inside him, and it wasn’t until he was older that he knew what it was, and how to express it.

The Dia de los Muertos Art Festival is free and family-friendly. It’s a forum for a wide variety of themed art.

A special feature is two free screenings of “Macario” the quintessential Dia de los Muertos cult favorite from the “golden age of Mexican cinema.”  Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1960, the cinematography is by legendary and iconic Gabriel Figueroa, who stuns with his magical realism and phantasmagoric black and white images.

Showings are at noon and 5 p.m., with a live Q&A after the noon screening with Mexican film and film poster historian Ramon Villalba.

Other attractions include continuous ballet folklorico performances, a fine arts gallery in the Theatre’s balcony level and a lobby display of altars.

The Theatre grounds house food trucks, picnic tables, shopping for Dia de los Muertos merchandise, and two “creative” areas, one to decorate sugar skulls/calaveras de azucar, and a second space to “make and take” papel picado; face painting, and more. Parking is free.

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Published: Oct. 30, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 29

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