Juan Horta Castillo

The work of Juan Horta Castillo consists of vivacious and boldly imaginative hand carved masks, painted in vibrant colors with high gloss automotive enamels. His works are part of a long tradition of Mexican mask making, influenced by pre-Columbian culture and the iconography of modern Catholicism.  


Horta is considered to be one of the finest traditional mask makers in Mexico.  His works range from simple human and animal forms, to complex compositions that combine multiple subjects into stunning works of art.  Devils, snakes, cats, lizards and skeletons are common elements in his work.  Horta masks come in a number of sizes, from full size functional masks, to miniatures created for decorative  display.  His full-sized masks are used in dances and ceremonies in the Lake Patzquaro region of Michoacán

2 Faced Mask with Lizard and Snakes

Devil Mask with Bird and Two Snakes

Devil Mask with Skeleton

Devil Mask with Two Snakes

Devil with Two Snakes


Wild Pig




Devil with Lizard


Horta is survived by his wife and five children.  His sons are carvers in their own right, carrying on the art taught to them by their father.  Horta's work has been exhibited throughout Mexico and the United States including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, and Brown University.  


He is a first prize winner of Mexico’s National Mask Maker competition, and is included in the permanent collections of El Museo de la Mascara in San Luis  Potosi, Mexico.  His masks are featured world-wide in the performances of the “Ballet Folklorico de Mexico”.


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