This preface to an exhibition by the popular Venezuelan woodcarver Antonio José Fernández, called “the man with the ring” (1927–2006) was written by Carlos Contramaestre (1933–96), the artist who led the group El Techo de la Ballena in the early 1960s. Here, the writer shows the interest of the most forceful and cosmopolitan avant-garde of the time, represented by the Techo group, in recovering authentic popular-culture values. To the group, this was one way of offsetting the influence of the educated urban art tradition that was more tied to whatever was new in Europe. While the writer mentions some artists in the European tradition who painted mirrors into their works, he rejects that “origin” in the work of Fernández (who sold vegetables and herbs in the market in Valera, State of Trujillo). Instead, he praises the liveliness and immediacy of the popular tradition, specifically the “chimbangueles” of San Benito. This could be categorized as one of Contramaestre’s typically romantic escapes, based on idealizing peasant culture—even anachronistic. However, what he brings to light about the woodcarver/painter is the mirror’s capacity to include possible viewers of these works, from priests and policemen to bankers, who together would represent “the formless face of humankind.” The writer also “discovered” other popular artists in the Trujillo region, such as Salvador Valero and Josefa Sulbarán, as well as Emeterio Darío Lunar (originally from Cabimas, State of Zulia). Contramaestre is frank about his interest in “the man with the ring,” which lies in his being the first popular carver (polychrome carvings) to be known [in the art world]. This text was reproduced in a posthumous book by Contramaestre, Poética del escalpelo (Caracas: Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, 2000).