Hand-cut, hammered, and shaped ornament is made with reclaimed tinplate framing this tiny print reproduction of an antique holy card featuring the Sacred Heart.
After filing and sanding sharp corners and edges, I embellished it from my stash of vintage, antique, and/or reclaimed fabrics, metals, beads, and trims, including resin rhinestones, vintage lace, a satin rose, a vintage plastic faceted heart charm in a brass frame, and a tiny little curl of dried vine for the crown of thorns.
Santo Niño Huachicolero emerges as part of modern-day “folk bandit spirituality” in the state of Puebla in Mexico as the patron of huachicoleros – those who steal gasoline. His iconography is adapted from that of Santo Niño de Atocha, the Infant of Atocha, as shown here in this Instagram post if I can get the embed thingie to work:
The Catholic Church is obviously not happy about this, but this is vernacular religion in action, in direct response to social and economic realities when the official modes of religious observation and praxis do not meet the needs of the people. Thus Santo Niño Huachicolero joins the ranks of figures like Jesús Malverde and Santa Muerte who serve to fill those gaps.