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Giant Naked Woman 'La Mona', is in the Middle of a Tijuana, Mexico Neighborhood

Updated on December 7, 2017

Giant Naked Woman Known as "La Mona"

Giant statue of naked woman in Tijuana, Mexico by Armando Garcia.
Giant statue of naked woman in Tijuana, Mexico by Armando Garcia. | Source

Close-up of "La Mona"

To see a close-up of "La Mona," click here to see a photo from Flickr user, "Yupi Harris."

Translation of "La Mona"

"La Mona" translated into English means "the doll."

Woman Statue

Le Jour ni l’Heure statue (woman statue)
Le Jour ni l’Heure statue (woman statue) | Source

Armando Garcia Quote

"One thing I recognize about myself…when things turn really difficult, I’m comfortable there. When things are really easy, I’m bored.” (quote is in reference to struggling to raise the funding for his 'Tijuana III Millennium" project)

The Origin of "La Mona"

In 1987, sculptor Armando Muñoz Garcia came up with a brilliant idea. He wanted to celebrate Tijuana, Mexico's centennial (in 1989) by creating a piece of artwork that would last forever -- a giant naked woman statue in the middle of the city. His giant naked woman statue was not actually completed until 1990.

But the statue he envisioned was not a small statue that one might imagine in a city square. Armando's naked woman is 58 feet tall, and hollow. In fact, Armando Garcia lives in his giant woman, and it serves as his house. Since Tijuana's city officials denied him their support, he went ahead and built it in his own neighborhood, known as Colonia Aeropuerto.

The body of the giant woman was conceptualized from one of Armando Garcia's former girlfriend. He named his giant naked woman statue, "Tijuana III Millennium," but locals call it "La Mona" instead.

Armando Garcia Needed Funding

Since the city of TIjuana would not endorse Armando's project, he needed funding elsewhere. In the early envisioning stage, he produced many miniature versions of his Tijuana III Millennium, and sold them to tourists at $20 a piece.

He would sculpt 10 miniature statuettes each day and load them into his car. After driving on bad roads to the kiln, there would only be 3 or 4 left to actually fire up.

The first "La Mona" miniature statuette ever made was sold to Bob Matheny, a former San Diego Arts Professor at Southwestern College.

Bob Matheny developed a friendship with Armando as a struggling sculptor, and bought as many as 25 statuettes at one time to help fund his project. Matheny also helped organize a La Jolla fundraiser where Garcia could sell his miniatures at $100 a piece.

"La Mona" as a Home to Armando Garcia

For years, Armando Garcia and his wife lived in "La Mona." Their bedroom was located in her breasts. The study was located in her head. The bathroom was located in her butt, and the kitchen was located in the belly. Once "La Mona" was completed, Garcia and wife moved into "La Sirena" -- another self-built naked woman statue/house located in Puerto Nuevo.

He has since opened up a French restaurant in the belly of "La Mona" back in 2012.

Armando Garcia's Grand Vision

Armando's lifelong dream as a sculptor is to one day build giant nude Amazon women statues along the U.S./Mexico border.

Video of "La Mona" in Tijuana Neighborhood

"La Mona" is located in Tijuana, Mexico

Tijuana, Mexico is approximately 24.8 mi. from San Diego, CA.
Tijuana, Mexico is approximately 24.8 mi. from San Diego, CA. | Source

Reader Poll

If a sculptor wanted to build a giant naked woman statue in the middle of your neighborhood, would you object?

See results


Morlan, Kinsee. "Reintroducing the 'Infamous Babes'" San Diego City Beat.

Morton, Ella. "The Man Who Lives in a Giant Naked Woman"

© 2014 Zack Love


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