Figural Fetish Sculpture

Mark Swazo-Hinds


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Noted for paintings and sculpture, but especially for his fetish sculptures, Mark grew up surrounded by the art of his father, acclaimed painter Patrick Swazo-Hinds.

While still in his teens, Mark began to develop his widely acclaimed artistic path of carving award-winning stone fetishes.

Although greatly influenced by traditional rituals and ceremonies, he creates contemporary sculptures to be enjoyed in our time.

He tries to maintain historical customs, practices, and rituals through his traditional stone carving methods.

These are combined with the intricate and ancient skill of creating medicine bundles, which convey the subject’s powers to the owner and the spirits.

When a piece is completed, the artist blesses it, in the traditional way of his Pueblo.

This figural sculpture has an ancient look; it could be something found in an Aztec tomb but is a contemporary creation of the artist, representing any and all spiritual figures.

Smoothly finished sandstone is decorated with minutely chiseled elements that depict details of the figure: ruffs around the neck, jewelry on the body, and definition of the facial features.

The designs are colored with a natural, red earth pigment that contrasts well with the tan stone.

An elaborate medicine bundle, composed of natural pheasant and parrot feathers, and hand-tied, is the principal decorative element.

This eruption of irregular forms contrasts strikingly, in texture, shapes, and colors, with the bland sandstone and reddish wood base.

The unique figure exhibits a powerful, but serene presence, and is an example of talent, tradition, and artistic skill, by an internationally collected, prize-winning artist.

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