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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

Mystique Masque / 1314 Winter Collection / Colorado Yule Marble

12 x 9 x 23.5″ / 49.4 lbs / SN 140102 / Sold

Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Long before I carved Mystique Masque I had conceived the idea of carving a mask,   a face, or combination of both, on the underside of a bowl.    It was during the carving process that I found myself increasingly absorbed in ‘The Visual Arts: A History, Third Edition, by Hugh Honour & John Flemming, a startlingly enlightening book that brought to light so many insightful observations, including the stunningly obvious connection between certain Picasso paintings, sketches and sculpture,  and the African masks he so openly and enthusiastically admired.    Inevitably I found myself Googling African face masks,  immediately falling under their captivating and mysterious spell as the vivid and exotic world floods the mind’s eye with the most graphic imagery.  Masks therefore,  for a while, positively obsessed me.  It was at this point that Mystique Bowl became Mystique Masque.    It was only at this precise point that I knew I had found the perfect marble with which to carve the first bowl masque.   I was already familiar with the block that would become Mystique as I had previously split it with plug and feather,   taking heart at the promising look and feel of the marble.   And when further inspection on the banker showed no fractures or structural impediments to carving a large full-sized bowl I admit that I did harbor ambitious hopes that the beaten and battered-looking spectacle that sat before me in my workshop may,  might,  could well be – the one!    However, if I were a gambler (which I’m happy to report that I am not)  even I would be hard pressed to imagine that deep within that same unlikely looking poor abused and most likely quite elderly rectangle of neglected stone is… well, Mystique Masque… let alone bet on it.   But as with all the marble that comes to me I simply treat it with respect and set about releasing the bird from its anything but guided cage.  Its always difficult to pinpoint exactly when an idea gains sufficient traction to be put into practice,   but I think its telling that the same book that connected the dots with Picasso’s open admiration for African art  (neither primitive nor savage, as it turns out)… this same book had previously focused my mind on the quite exquisite sculpture of the east,  revealing in detail a superbly confident free-flowing spirit quite unknown in Greek and Roman counterparts.  It was my wife Kris who came up with the name, and I liked it right away.  Quite often a name pops into my head even before I have carried the piece out of the workshop,  but at other times a name will escape me to the point of (almost) distraction,   at which point I call in all the help I can get.  The name, I think,  beautifully and perfectly captures the countless moods,  characteristics and Mystique is apt to portray throughout the course of any given day.

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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Mystique Masque

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Hand Carved Marble Masque by Martin Cooney

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