Vejigantes are a lesser know craft from the Island of Puerto Rico. It’s roots start in Spanish Catholic Celebrations that were later injected with deeply religious influences from west Africa, in which both cultures had mask making tractions. These Paper-Mache masks are used today by Puerto Ricans to celebrate many holidays and festivals. The Vejigante masks Lorimar creates are started traditionally, using molds that are either hand made or using cattle horns to create all the base parts that are covered in many layers paper hand a home made glue. They are then released from these molds and joined using more paper and glue. Lorimar then deviates from tradition and finishes her masks with unconventional materials or painting styles blending her American and Puerto Rican Cultures.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lorimar is a full-time stay-at-home mom and artist based in the southwest side of Chicago. She is deeply rooted in her Puerto Rican culture. Her use of bright colors and bold lines, coupled with the incorporation of Vejigantes masks in her work, reflects her desire to explore what it means to grow up as a first-generation Puerto Rican. Through her art, Lorimar wants to illicit a sense of joy and warmth in her viewers, all the while dealing with her feelings of anxiety and depression. Her work serves as a reminder that we all have the power to make conscious daily decisions that lead to our own joy and happiness.
© Lorimar Matos