Mexican Folk Art on Wheels



He has a mind of his own and is capable of driving himself. Who can forget the red, white and blue stripes, and the number 53 on its front trunk.

This iconic racing beetle became famous in the 1968 film “Love Bug.” Now Herbie’s long lost cousin, Vochol is catching up to him!

Vochol is a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle covered in 2,277,000 colorful plastic beads. And it has made his first international stop right here in San Diego!

You can catch a glimpse of Vochol at the San Diego Museum of Art until March 11. That’s before he takes off to other highly respected art institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris.

Vochol comes from the popular term for Beetles in Mexico, “Volcho” and “Huichol” the common name for the Wixáritari indigenous group of Western Central Mexico.

It was no easy task for the eight Huichol artisans that worked on this project. They clocked in 4,760 hours and took about seven months to finish it. The project was sponsored by the Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Arte Popular (AAMAP) along with different public and private agencies.

Besides beadwork, the Huichol crafts include embroidery, weaving, hats, and pray arrows.

The Huichol are very spiritual people and their work is often an extension of their faith. For example, images of two snakes above the clouds can be seen on the hood representing rain, the sides show the gods of the sun and fire. The roof has a big sun and four eagles representing the union of man and the gods.

But wait…here’s the best part! Vochol can be yours if you are interested in buying it as it will be auctioned off in Mexico City. Time to break off the piggy bank!

I know I would love driving this bug around town!