Although he carved miniature miniatures of 1 mm size, the time when the folk artist of Oaxacan Miguel Angel Martínez Reyes used a magnifying glass that was when displaying his impressive artwork to the public. "I have excellent eyesight, I rarely work with artificial light, and the exception is when I'm under arms to complete a piece with a certain deadline, which happens infrequently," explains Martinez Reyes one morning while we eat breakfast with fellow artist Dolores Leycegui. "My work is so small and detailed that sometimes people ask if I have a magnifying glass to help them better appreciate my art, so I started bringing one to my opponents," he continues.
The 34-year-old demonstrated his art as far away as Treviso, Italy; as well as in Mexico City, Oaxaca and the hometown of Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz. The Italian Museum Gallery 2013 was part of a global tribute to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. He donated his creativity, sculpted in miniature from Kahlo and Diego Rivera made of wood from the pochote tree, to the museum, as a sign of gratitude for his invitation.
"I work with wood from the tree tree because it is soft, but for me the bone is more elegant although it is more difficult and time consuming; when I had been assigned to perform a certain piece, or if I had a particular subject that looked after himself and explained Martinez Reyes:
Martinez Reyes has far beyond what he can remember. But when he was nine years old while climbing pochote trees with his friends, he noticed the eccentric knot, texture, color in the trunk and tree branches.
Sizing poets with his friends provided the initial inspiration for creating miniatures. He continued carving, making pieces with more details as he got older. Out of economic necessity, he stopped working for two years of his employment to the United States. Realizing that the "American Dream" was likely to continue evading him, he returned to Wahaca. On his return when he was about 19 years old, he started using beef bone as his preferred medium. From that point onwards, Martinez Reyes realized that sculpture would be his vocation in life.
Only the extent of his imagination restricts the topic of the work of Martinez Reyes, although women provide his strongest stimulus. "I hold women in the highest esteem, and therefore I respect and appreciate them; after all, the woman gave me life, so how can I think otherwise", asks a letter. He talks about the topic of Mother Earth in some of his works, which bear the fruits of life.
The wizard from Whittle carefully caulked in the backpack and carefully removes his work. Sitting in his hands, as if ready to reveal delicate flower petals in a number of pieces. It includes a mermaid, as well as two indigenous women kneeling at work both carved from the pochote. There is also a bone cut with religious images. His 1 mm work is the cradle scene, each figure carved on the top of a toothpick.
"I still work with pochote, as well as with rice, cypress, other woods, and even fruit seeds," he continues, showing me two sculptures in peach pits. "The Martínez Reyes Media Collection also includes pits of other fruits including tamarind and maami, coconut and pecan crust, aloe vera, tree root, as well as stone and minerals including limestone, amber, jade, turquoise and carpets.
The set of materials Martínez Reyes dictates using a wide range of tools. "I use needles, pins, lacto knives, weights, chisels, and any piece of metal or iron that I can sharpen to a good point, as long as I can use it to do detailed work," he explains as he extracts a number of minor carving tools from his treasures bag. To carve more solid materials including some stones, minerals, and bones, he uses more sophisticated precision tools, including dental drills and tools that jewelers use. And yes, he often carves jewelry pieces such as pendants and earrings, often for custom orders.
Martinez Reese is a psychologist. Although he held a number of workshops on sculpting miniatures, he never received a lesson in any field of art. Yet he is a great master, and he has won national recognition on several occasions. More recently, in March 2014, he attended a contest in Mexico City with about 3,000 other popular artists, sponsored partially by FONART (National Fund for the Development of Arts and Crafts). In the category of miniature folk art, he won third place and received a major national award for folk art.
However, with national recognition, nearly twenty exhibitions of his credit and international exposure, Martinez Reyes remains a struggle. "Yes, I was invited to Mexico City and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate and for the judges to acknowledge the quality of my work." But there is still a persistent problem in the minds of many in the arts community, whether Oaxaca provides adequate support to both its promises and many popular artists and artists. In the case of Martínez Reyes, his life's dream is to be the director of the Museum of Miniatures, so that there is a greater global appreciation for his art form.
However, Martinez Reyes has a project that can be achieved in the foreseeable future. He wants to make bone sculptures for 20 of Michelangelo's most famous artworks, naturally in miniatures, for a one-week show at the same museum where he displayed the Frieda / Diego statue last year. It is neither a dream nor a vision. Not only did the curator express his interest, but he also assured him of an individual exhibition of works, and he paid his expenses. He only needs modest sponsorship funding to cover the costs of his return to Treviso. Shockingly, he did not find it.
My interview ends with a disturbing and disappointing note. I go home and try all the time to figure out how to help him. He called him on the phone, and suggested that he got a written invitation from the exhibition curator, and he committed to the show and expenses for a week while he was in Italy. I then propose to arrange an interview with a senior person in the Ministry of Tourism and Economy of the state of Oaxaca, to present the idea – and Italian commitment. How can Okaka reject this request?
The return of air travel to Italy in the context of this offer would lead to millions of tourists in the state of Oaxaca. And if the state rejects the request? There is always the media. After that, donors will not only knock on his door; the state may wake up to the great opportunity of supporting the maestro from miniatures such as Miguel Angel Martinez Reyes.