Two-Figured Wooden “Totem” Sculpture
Celebrated stone sculptor John Suazo credits his late “Uncle Ralph” with inspiring his own career.
Ralph Suazo carved what he saw around his Taos Pueblo home, in wood. Often, they were human figures.
Using only a knife, he developed an abstract, modern look that also maintained the essence of the subjects.
Suazo’s style also evokes the abstracted, beautifully sinuous figures of modern art masters, Modigliani, R.C. Gorman, and Amado Peña.
One of Ralph Suazo’s gifts was using the wood itself to enhance the subjects.
Notice how the hair of the two figures is beautifully indicated by the wood grain.
With minimal, but deeply carved, graceful curves, he indicates both the hair and blankets covering the heads.
The faces are serious, but contemplative, suffused with serenity.
The carved fan, at the base of the lower head, adds a swirl of texture.
This double portrait carving evokes totem poles, African, and Asian art, as well as the modern art of the past century, that was influenced by these.
Still and powerful, this is a compelling sculpture by a renowned past master.