Contemporary Birds In a Tree
An amazing, spectacular work of art by one of the most creative and innovative of all Native artists.
He was honored by inclusion in a national museum exhibit, originating in New York, before he was 30 (!), and awarded many prizes at Indian art shows across the country. Genes count, though – his mother, Veronica Poblano, and sister Jovanna are equally recognized.
This sculpture – it is really not simply a fetish – is a contemporary piece that recalls the exquisite lapidary and metal work of Renaissance artists. Two plump ravens, carved of polished jet, and embellished with a vibrant array of inlaid stones and shells, are sitting on the branches of a beautifully gnarled brass tree.
One has bright silver eyes; the other, sky-blue turquoise ones. Each has a topknot of inlaid turquoise, and mosaic inlaid wings.The perfectly formed wings of the bird on the right are inlaid with a mosaic of green jade, shell and turquoise.
Her (she is smaller and less ornate) tail feathers are natural red coral, mother of pearl, and shell. Her companion on the left is slightly larger, and more elaborately “feathered”.
His wings are also beautifully inlaid and shaped, but each one boasts a different design: red coral, and green and blue turquoise on one side; red coral, turquoise and pale green serpentine stripes on the other.
His tail is a faceted fan of rich blue lapis. He has likely been searching for materials to feather their nest, because he is holding a branch of oxidized and carved silver leaves in his mouth.
Hanging from the leaves are two beautifully lustrous pearls, on white; one blush. The base is formed of smooth, grained wood, encased in sterling silver, with a slightly scalloped edge.
A leaf of deep blue, sparkling druzy extends from each side, also encased in polished silver. The tapered oval of the druzies corresponds to the form of the birds themselves, their wings, and the silver leaves, making a beautifully balanced composition.
Twisted and knotted brass forms the tree that supports the birds. This elegantly rugged texture really stands out, and complements all the smooth shapes and finishes of the rest of the piece.
Meticulously fabricated, bit by bit, entirely by hand, this magical sculpture honors the birds who help to pollinate crops.
As well, it is a magnificent piece of creative artistry, by a younger jeweler of international reputation.
It is destined to take its place proudly among historic and modern objets d’art.