Paper Mache Mermaid

My name is José Gabriel Lopez and I am an artist living in Austin, Texas. I was born in Mexico and am influenced by Mexican folk art and surrealism. This is an example of something I have made in the past. I paint, make silver jewelry and create wild creatures in paper mache. Click on the Shop on Etsy button to see what I have for sale now.


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This a hand made paper mache Mermaid with an Octopus sitting on a Reef. I make my sculptures following the tradition of the Mexican paper mache masters in Mexico City. I create an armature to start building layers of construction paper and then I remove the armature so the interior is empty or hollow. I also use paper clay which I make with shredded paper, organic flour, all purpose glue and spackling paste. This paper clay then I use to fill irregularities and add details to faces or hands or other shapes. Once the figure is put together I cover it with a coat of gesso and then I proceed to paint using acrylic paints. Finally I add a thick layer of resin to provide protection and for durability.


I was born in Mexico, spent my 20’s in Chicago and have lived in Austin, Texas for many years now. I paint what I see in my dreams, my subconscience and can be described as a surrealist. The stories I see come from the tradition of magical realism we experience in Latin America. I love folk art, especially what comes from the Day of the Dead genre and calaveras make their way into my paper mache art along with mermaids, dinosaurs, and wild creatures. I also make silver jewelry that has an industrial feel.

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