Late Tejano star Selena Quintanilla has always been known for being a giant in the music industry, but an artist in Texas took that sentiment to a whole new level this year in celebration of Día de Muertos.
Dallas-based artist Alfonso Hernández, who is known as “Piñata Man,” was commissioned to build an enormous Selena calavera piñata for the State Fair of Texas. The skeletal piñata was designed wearing the iconic purple outfit Selena wore during her final concert at the Houston Astrodome in 1995.
Hernández told MySA that it took him 10 days to make the 12-foot, 400 pound Selena piñata out of paper mache. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of piñata that can be filled with candy and broken open at a birthday party. Most of the piñata’s weight comes from the steel frame that holds it up. Try putting a wooden stick through that.
“Selena is a huge part of our [Mexican] culture, so as an artist, there was a lot of pressure,” Hernandez told MySA. “I worked on the face every single day. I’d wake up, paint it, soften it up, go back to sleep and then work on it again. I did that for like seven days straight. Then the body, torso and legs – all of that came easy to me. Most of the work goes into the face.”
On Instagram, Hernández thanked everyone who helped him with the piñata, including his daughter, who painted the design, and his father, who provided the steel framework.
“When you think of piñatas, whether you’re going to buy one or make one, I want others to think of me,” Hernández said. “Like Bob Ross is to oil paintings, I want to be that but for piñatas.”