Noted in the past for his vibrant clay wall masks, the artist has recently explored multimedia soft sculptures, with brilliant results, as you can see.
This latest one represents the bear, Guardian of the North, healer, and protector; an almost universal symbol of power, hunting prowess, and survival skills.
The simplified shape marvelously conveys the bulk and strength of this iconic symbol.
Canvas, beautifully painted in rich colors, forms his well-filled body, with natural feathers tied on in a medicine bundle.
Medicine bundles are meant to convey the power and good luck, depicted in the piece, to the heavens, on behalf of the owner.
This bear is painted with a lively series of designs, incorporating dots, leaves, dragonflies, spirals and zig-zag lines.
The dark brown, and other saturated colors, suggest the actual animal, though not realistically.
On the front, the bear-brown part of the animal sports spirals of water, and a bevy of dragonflies in light, airy yellow-gold.
At the center, there are bands of handsomely colored zig-zags – metallic silver, copper and matte brick red – denoting flowing water, with little gold dots floating on a black background.
Vertical, tapered stripes, suggesting the sinew that holds a medicine bundle, stream down the center, in metallic silver, metallic copper, dark brown and bright red.
On the rump, another large, black water spiral floats over the royal purple background, with pretty lime green ovals wafting overall.
Those gold dots refer to raindrops, and the ovals are stylized leaves, referring to plants and crops that thrive with enough water.
The warm and cool colors are anchored by the black areas.
The theme of water, symbolized by the spirals, the dots, the wavy zig-zags, and the dragonflies, which live on and above flowing water, results in abundant crops.
Health and happiness for all creatures rely on enough water, so this bear is indeed, a protector and healer. And handsome, too!
Ready to hang on your wall, or propped up on a shelf.