Dia de los Muertos art on display in Rockefeller Center

Crystal Cranmore Image
Friday, October 29, 2021
Dia de los Muertos art on display at Rockefeller Center
The Mexican holiday on Nov. 1 and 2nd pays respects to relatives and friends who have died.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A colorful celebration of Mexican culture is now on display at Rockefeller Center.

An 11-foot dragon and a 13-and-a-half-foot feathered jaguar stand guard at the iconic Rockefeller Center.

The art installations are part of a colorful collection of work in celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The Mexican holiday on Nov. 1 and 2nd pays respects to relatives and friends who have died.

"For us, it's important that we remember," said Jacobo Angeles. "On an alter we place a photo of our families and offer their favorite food, drinks and music."

Maria and Jacobo Angeles are the artists behind these Alebrijes - or Mexican folk art sculptures - that serve as spirit guides.

Eyewitness News spoke to them from their studio in Oaxaca, Mexico.

"We're grateful to Rockefeller Center because we didn't know how important that space is - but now we recognize it, we know we've reached great heights in our career," Jacobo said.

Their sculptures took six months to make and it was a family affair.

"My son, nephews and nieces they help us for painting, but we make all the pieces," Maria said.

After 60 years, the consulate general of Mexico brought Mexico week back to the plaza to highlight the country's rich culture - just in time to commemorate 200 years of Mexican independence.

Take a walk through the center and you'll find a traditional ofrenda alter to remember those who passed away due to COVID-19.

Elegantly dressed skeleton figures that have become synonymous with Day of the Dead intrigue visitors as they take pictures.

Maria and Jacobo hope people walk away with more than just a snapshot.

"We always want people to remember Oaxaca, that is the purpose of our work," Jacobo said. "It's to share our culture to the world."

Their work and the others will be on display through Nov. 2.

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