Luis Aragon

Alternate names
Rafael Aragon [Duplicate]
1899 – 1977
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Wood carver, santero
Wood, paint
Luis Aragón was born at Cherry Valley Lake, New Mexico, just below the confluence of the Mora and Sapelló rivers, on 19 August 1899, in the same birth as a twin sister, María Juana de la Cruz, who died in 1979. His parents, Juan de la Cruz Aragón and María Melitona Gonzáles de Aragón, chose as his padrinos Serapio Baca and Emma Hern de Baca, and on 10 September the parents and the two sets of padrinos took María Juana and Luis for baptism to Father Maurice Olier at Sacred Heart Church, Watrous...In 1927, Luis married and moved to Ilfeld, a few miles west of San José del Vado in the Pecos Valley, but when his wife Felipita Chávez and their infant both died in childbed the next year, he seemed to lose his sense of direction. He got to drinking at times, became something of a loner, and never remarried; but he was a kind and humble man, and people who met him always liked him very much. During the Depression he joined the C.C.C., but for the most part he farmed and did odd jobs and seasonal work in and around the town of Pecos until he moved to Albuquerque several years after World War II. In the mid-1960s, as he got older, he moved in with his niece Louise Gonzáles, his twin sister's daughter, in Albuquerque's North Valley near Osuna Road...Don Luis had whittled and worked with wood throughout his life, and at this time he began to spend a lot of his time carving small figures in white pine and red cedar, using the natural colors of the unstained bare wood to enhance the carved shapes. It was a plain and candid style of his own. Only occasionally would he add small stones, bits of wire, and pieces of leatherette or stiffened and tinted cloth to achieve certain effects. Many of his figures involved animals - Saint George's, Saint Martin's, and Santiago's war-horses, the donkey that Mary rode during the Flight into Egypt, the oxen that pulled Saint Isidore's plow, the lamb in Santa Inéz del Campo's arms, the ox and ass of the Nativity scene. At times he made not santos but wonderful covered wagons and simple animal figures, and having been a farmer he knew the shapes of animals well and reproduced them very convincingly...He also carved such standard santero subjects as Nuestra Señora del Rosario, San Miguel Arcángel, San Francisco with birds, and San Antonio de Padua, and he pioneered such rare ones as San Francisco de Asís standing under the cross from which Christ reaches down his right arm to embrace him. Only a few of Aragón's figures are polychromed - painted in various colors. During the Depression era, the W.P.A. Artists' Project encouraged polychromed santos, but santos in the tradition of the Santa Fe revival led by Frank Applegate the artist, Mary Austin the writer, and the Spanish Colonial Arts Society were rarely gessoed or painted. Though Applegate made polychromed bultos himself, he was afraid that his amateur protegés would lack the appropriate restraint in applying their colors. [Retrieved on 9/13/17 from] [Retrieved on 9/13/17 from]