THE ICON: Enrique Alferez
THE LEGACY: As a boy, Enrique Alferez was a rebel — literally, serving alongside forces loyal to Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution. Even after the war, and after he immigrated to the United States, that rebellious streak would remain a part of him, evident in some of the many artworks the sculptor created in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. While the frequent use of nudity in his creations riled what he called “puritanical” locals critics in the 1940s and 1950s, the colorful, and at times impish, Alferez built a reputation as one of the city’s great 20th century artists. A student of the Art Deco style, his sculptures can be found — and are treasured — in cities around the world. Nowhere, however, are they more concentrated than in New Orleans.
THE ARTIST: Alexandra Kilburn, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “He had a penchant for pulling the leg of officialdom. He just loved all that (notoriety); he really loved it. … He was sort of an enfant terrible.” — Luba Glade, a longtime friend of Enrique Alferez