Santo is a traditional New Mexican style of religious sculpture. The word "santo" is also used to refer to individual works in this style. Santos are carvings, either in wood or ivory, that depict saints, angels, or other religious figures.
Hector Rascon specializes in carving santos and angels from cottonwood
and aspen trees. He uses a chainsaw, eight very sharp chisels, and a band
saw. His creations feature incredibly sensitive, soulful faces, and they
reflect his spirit in their eyes. (Some folks say Hector's santos looks like
About the artist: Hector Rascon is one of the best-known living Hispanic
folk artists in New Mexico. His carvings are shown in galleries throughout
the Southwest. He learned to carve santos from Benjamin Ortega, who is perhaps
New Mexico's most famous carver. In 1977 Hector began carving his own creations,
and he has passed the art form down to his son, who now assists Hector. Hector
was recently asked to carve over 3,000 angels for the World Trade Center
memorial to the victims of 9/11.