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Chad Mora’s Skullery

May 30, 2010

Turned artfully

Along with all the great vintage and decorative pieces at Mora’s Antiques in Lake Elsinore, you’ll also find a selection of art pieces by owner Vicki’s son, Chad Mora. On his website, he describes himself as married, with 3 children, and pressed for time to create his art … yet it appears he’s found a way to be remarkably prolific. Working in that blurry genre that encompasses, among other things, Mexican Day of the Dead imagery, Rat Fink car culture, weirdo comix, as well as traditional folk art, Mora’s developed a signature style all his own. My favorite pieces in the shop include the one you see above: a humorous grinning-and-bearing-it take on that classic, not-so-PC character, the slumbering Mexican. Encompassing Mora’s ubiquitous skull, found objects in the form of turned wooden dowels and some terrific colors with attitude, this piece excites on several levels … there’s more:

Sol personality

This sol, sonriendo so strenuously, reminds me of people who tan excessively: with his face surrounded by a reflector and already a crisp shade of red, his eyes are crazed with the need to be more, um, done. Again, dowels are used, this time for the sun’s rays. Mora’s sense of humor is always apparent, making his work that much more appealing.

Life-sized, impressive

La Catrina (a take-off on the word catrin, or elegant) was used to describe fancily dressed skeletons in the etchings of José Guadalupe Posada, that became famous during the Mexican Revolution of the 1920s. Mora’s life-sized catrina is dressed for that revolution, and although she may be hollow-eyed, her expression seems to indicate a fierce determination. Complete, with cactus, skeletal bird sidekick and floral accessories in her oh-so-pragmatic braided hairdo, this Catrina is on active duty. I’m not sure that this particular Catrina was the one on display at the Dia De Los Muertos 8th annual celebration at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in October, 2007, but it’s certainly feature-worthy.

Chad Mora and friends

According to Vicki,  Chad’s been working in this medium for a relatively short 4 years and I can’t wait to see what direction his work takes. Sadly, other photos of Mora’s work I took weren’t usable, but there’s quite an assortment of pieces large and small to see in the shop’s gallery. If Mora’s striking work appeals to you, now would be a good time to make a purchase as they’re still priced very reasonably … once I decide which I want (and which I have room for at the Rancho) I’ll be writing a check, too. Again, make it a point to stop in at Mora’s Antiques in Lake Elsinore. It’s an unexpectedly stylish — and artful — stop off the freeway!

Chad Mora’s art is at Mora’s Antiques, 142 N. Main St., Lake Elsinore CA 92530; 951-245-5326

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2010 3:57 pm

    Wonderful artist.

  2. Elizabeth Han permalink
    June 1, 2010 5:42 am

    What strange art (I mean that in a good way).

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