Saturday, July 20, 2024

CoLores Decor: Classic meets new for iconic Mexican designs

According to the nation’s Culture Ministry, Mexico has at least 160 different types of traditional handicraft styles. One of the most enduring is CoLores Decor created by Gil Herrera, a Los Angeles, California based artist. Herrera is part of a wave of Mexican artists who are currently reinventing Mexican culture, including names like Laura Kirar and Mestiz.

From the clay of Oaxaca to Puebla’s renowned Talavera pottery, the practicality and beauty of these popular and magnificent objects are transformed into new expressions of Mexican being thanks to these skilled artists. Each evolves without losing the essence that has allowed it to endure over time.

Resembling hanging sculptures, evoke abstract art and blur the lines between sculpture, painting, and impeccable craftsmanship.
Resembling hanging sculptures, Gil Herrera’s pieces evoke abstract art and blur the lines between sculpture, painting, and impeccable craftsmanship. (CoLores Decor)

The secret to reinventing crafts lies in preserving their essence while taking them to new realms. In some cases, this transformation leads to artistic pieces that both surprise and honor the traditional object and its artisans. CoLores Decor is a perfect example of this.

The power of CoLores Decor

CoLores Deco is characterized by grandeur. Imagine immense chandeliers crafted from Hilaza cotton, resembling oversized hanging sculptures. Through simple yet astounding forms, this company transforms spaces with unique and grand pieces crafted by skilled Mexican artisans. Whether for a house, palace, or restaurant, the simplicity and artistry of these creations will transport you into an artistic realm.

The uniqueness of CoLores Decor lies in Herrera’s approach to interior design, who reinterprets common objects such as molcajetes, clay, equipales, traditional beaten copper, tortilleros, and tableware, as well as clothing items like hats and jewelry.

According to Herrera, the brand’s aim is to “showcase the great talent and originality of Mexico.” It is also a way of preserving ancient traditions and providing income for Mexican families.

“CoLores Decor is deeply committed and grateful to work with wonderful Mexican artisans. These collaborations, which take place in several Mexican states, allow indigenous tribes to maintain their divine talents that have existed for decades. They can still provide for their families and we can all enjoy the fruits of their labor,” he explains on the CoLores Deco website.

The interior design of CoLores Decor blends surrealism, modernism, and a deep sense of Mexican identity
The interior design of CoLores Decor demonstrates a bold dedication to modernism intertwined with an attention to tradition. (CoLores Decor)

The interior design of CoLores Decor blends surrealism, modernism, and a deep sense of Mexican identity. The combinations are striking, transporting you to a dreamlike space reminiscent of Wes Anderson and Tim Burton’s futuristic worlds.

Here are a few of the interiors Herrera has created:

Need to know pieces from CoLores Decor

Mexican Handmade Acapulco Macrame Chair: You are likely familiar with the classic Acapulco chairs, but this one elevates to an elegant and sophisticated level by combining the expertise of Mexican artisan hands with a modernist approach to a classic piece.

Hammocks: These hammocks are truly remarkable in their sophistication and elegance. The meticulous handiwork involved in their creation makes them a work of art in themselves.

CoLores Decor´s hammocks are truly remarkable in their sophistication and elegance
CoLores Decor hammocks are truly remarkable. Their sophistication, color and elegance are unmatched by other designers. (CoLores Decor)

Wall Decor: These compositions, resembling hanging sculptures, evoke abstract art and blur the lines between sculpture, painting, and impeccable craftsmanship.

Equipales: Primarily crafted in the small town of Zacoalco de Torres, in the state of Jalisco, just 50 minutes away from Guadalajara, these beautiful chairs, with ancient pre-Hispanic roots made of wood and leather, represent one of Mexico’s most exquisite contributions to interior design. Incredibly comfortable and durable, these seats can last up to 20 years. CoLores Decor’s reinvention of this model is astounding, featuring square designs and a minimalist touch, resulting in a truly elegant aesthetic.

Parota wood chairs: You may have encountered gorgeous hand chiselled leather in the form of handbags, but you might not have envisioned how this exquisite craftsmanship could seamlessly complement an elegant, sophisticated, and minimalist chair. The outcome speaks volumes for itself.

These amazing reinventions truly pay tribute to the skill and dedication of the artisan, and showcase how Mexican culture can be effortlessly updated and modernized to incredible effect.

Ana Paula de la Torre is a Mexican journalist and collaborator for various outlets including Milenio, Animal Político, Vice, Newsweek en Español, Televisa and Mexico News Daily.

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