Mezcala figures were often carved and polished from mottled green stone from an earlier celt, or stone hand axe, in a fashion similar to the work seen here. This Mezcala standing figure has human features and reflects a more rounded head, with distinct eyebrows, eyes, nose, and mouth. The neck, shoulders, and hands are indicated folded across the chest and stomach, while the legs have been cut through the original blade of the celt.
According to scholars, this piece was probably created halfway through the closely related Mezcala-Chontal tradition in which these objects were associated with elite shaft tomb burials and treasured later by the Mexica or Aztecs, who excavated them, placing the objects under their major pyramid, the templo mayor.
Iman Issa receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fine Arts for exploring, through works of various media, difficult philosophical questions, such as the individual’s relationship to places, figures, and events that are collectively familiar, or the difference between experience and recognition.
Meleko Mokgosi receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fine Arts for paintings that rely on intensive research, reflection, and conversation in order to address widespread misrepresentation of Africa and Africans, and to accurately portray the continent’s complex social and political realities.
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