Artist L.C. McKay and Matthew Scullin decided to make an exhibit based on the piñateras and their creations, “El Paso Pinata Extravaganza.”
Authentic piñatas, which are made from paper maches and balloons and can be as large as four feet, differ from mass produced ones which are usually much smaller and made of cardboard. But they are also more expensive: they cost $50-$100, compared to mass-produced ones which cost $15-$25.
“There was an interesting diversity of techniques,” Matthew Scullin said. “One of the guys had a very stylized and realistic technique. He applied the tissue paper very smoothly almost like a plaster sculpture instead of the traditional way of putting curly tissue paper on top of cardboard.” L.C. McKay believes the pinateras are artists.
L.C. McKay’s piñateras are competing against those of factory workers in Mexico and China who crank out inexpensive piñatas depicting cartoon characters like Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob Squarepants, which are then sold in chain party stores.
K.C. Macnamara, an artist in Eugene, Oregon says making piñatas is time-consuming, but she doesn't mind that the creations are made to be destroyed. It’s all part of the process,” she says. “Pinatas are a very ephemeral work of art.”
An exhibit based on the piñateras and their creations, “El Paso Piñata Extravaganza,” showed the art of the craft. Read full story here.