Simplified to elegant abstraction, yet utterly realistic in its poses, Rose Pecos Sun Rhodes’ work is unlike any other.
Judges agree, as her many prize ribbons demonstrate.
Although a Pueblo herself, her figures are usually Navajo, because she likes the men’s cowboy hats – traditional Navajo wear, not Pueblo.
As a mother, grandmother and teacher, she knows just how kids sit, stand and move.
The faces may be simplified, and the clay smoothed to a beautiful, uniform texture, but each child’s attitude and gesture is true to life.
This little treasure features a male storyteller, which is also true to life.
Grandpas, uncles and dads were often those who brightened dark winter days and nights with stories and tribal lore.
Grandpa wears his big black hat and a traditional turquoise heishi necklace, with a handsomely draped and painted blanket over one shoulder.
Four little children listen to him: One boy stands at the back, and gives his brother a boost up, to perch on Grandpa’s shoulder.
The little girl, sitting on the outstretched leg, reads a book:”When the Legends Die”, on one cover, and “Cowboy Way of Life” on the other.
Only the baby, firmly held by his grandfather, on his knee, seems to be all attention, hands hovering near his mouth.
Her highly reputed style is pared-down simplicity, with unusual elegance of form and finish.
Yet, with exacting detail in the poses of the figures, and the painted details of clothing, the artist has given us a little gem of naturalistic action, and artistic composition.
She also demonstrates an affectionate, winsome understanding of children.
Her style is uniquely her own, and this particular piece is uniquely beautiful, with its male storyteller.