A superlative walrus table fetish/sculpture, carved from one solid piece of turquoise, by this Hawaiian/Zuni artist.
He is now back in Zuni, and hard at work creating marvelous, prize-winning fetishes.
Keli’i won both first and second place ribbons at the same show, recently.
This carving conveys the massive strength and formidable bulk of this animal, with a whimsical touch, in beautiful, glossy, Number 8 turquoise (stabilized, of course).
Naturalistically proportioned, with its heavy, powerful, lumbering body, this walrus is a wonderful rendition, realistic and artistic at the same time.
Notice the carving all over the animal; folds and wrinkles, that makes this rendering of the beast so naturalistic.
The flat head, flippers front, and back, his snubbed-nose muzzle – all are expertly depicted.
Of course, the signature feature of a walrus, aside from the above, is the pair of long ivory tusks.
And the tusks on this walrus are actually, polished, natural walrus ivory!
The stance is full of forward thrust, even though seated, and emphasizes the ponderous size of the mighty beast.
His head is tilted quizzically, with an appealing look in his jet eyes, giving the sculpture dynamic energy.
Mottled handsomely with tawny matrix, the turquoise is expertly handled by the artist to emphasize the massiveness of the animal.
One side is mostly walrus-brown matrix, while the other side is mostly lovely blue turquoise; the confident and realistic carving is visible on both sides.
With the beauty of the stone and the talent of the carving, this walrus is a fabulous table piece; a small but impressive sculpture that goes well beyond its status as a fetish.