In fact, the creativity and sensibility of the indigenous and peasant towns of contemporary Oaxaca, are an expression, a continuity of thousands of years of human development which has lived in this region of the Mexican territory.
What makes up the roots and the essence of artistic creation today, is the same for Oaxacan artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo and Rodolfo Morales or Teodora Blanco, Doña Rosa and Manuel Jiménez, who represent a continuation and a popular expression of this ancient language, expressed with clay, wood, or cotton.
Oaxacan art flows directly from the spirit of its creators, from the world known artists to the simple indigenous and peasant artist families. Popular art is a way of seeing and feeling the world and life. It is an ancestral way of expressing the most profound emotions that exalt human consciousness.
Oaxacans live and feel art as an essential part of their daily life. For them, it is similar to making a garment of clothing, and to carving a piece of wood, or preparing one of Oaxaca’s seven chile sauces. The popular artist leaves a piece of himself in each work, but the difference is that he leaves it with humility and simplicity, without existential pretensions or external recognition.
The sculptor, the carver, or the weaver work day to day with patience and harmony. Their “doing” is intimately mixed with their “being.” An equilibrium exists then, with the same devotion that they [use to] tend to their small animals; they work their land and carry out their daily chores in front of the potter‘s wheel, the blades, or the loom.
This form of living art in an ancestral way has characterized Oaxacan towns. Their attachment to traditions, holidays, uses, and customs is already legendary within the national context. The genesis of this plurality of artistic and cultural expressions that coexists in Oaxaca is not only due to the millenary foundations of its indigenous cultures but also to these values and principles which remain in use in all the communities of the Oaxacan geography.