A survey of the artist Time Magazine called the “discovery of the year.”
The carreta de la muerte is one traditional icon used by the religious brotherhood, the Penitentes, as part of their Good Friday procession. Death carts commonly include a skeleton, called Doña Sebastiana, who wields a bow and arrow. Barela created four death carts during his life. Here, a serpent-like creature and a wine cask represent death.
Barela created a number of sexually explicit figures. In this depiction, his wry humor is unmistakable. These two characters refer to an incident in which a local judge was said to have passed judgment on one of Barela’s friends. If you look at the sculpture of the judge from one angle, he is simply a man smoking a big cigar. From another angle, the view is somewhat erotic.