Mystique Masque / 1314 Winter Collection / Colorado Yule Marble
12 x 9 x 23.5″ / 49.4 lbs / SN 140102 / Sold
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 closer inspection upon the banker showed no fractures or structural impediments to carving a large full-sized bowl, ambitious hopes arose that this beaten and battered-looking spectacle that sat before me in my workshop may, might, could well be – the one! It was Kris who came up with the name, and I liked it right away.
Long had I harbored an idea to develop a roughed out marble bowl into a wafer-thin marble mask. Before I could attempt such a daring project however I approached each pure white rough block of Colorado Yule Marble with just one thought: ‘could this be the one’? Then, one day, low-and-behold, out of the blue, the answer came up a very affirmative YES. At last I was able to take my rapidly developing Curvilinear concepts to new, as yet untested territory. No room for error here, I can assure you.
Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney
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