Home > Art > Small Mezcala Figure with Small Bird (M-10 Type)
About the Object
Mezcala abstract standing figures in the shape of humans are each unique and intimately connected to the original form of the stone. Perhaps the most distinguishable feature of the work seen here is the carved bird, or avian, form perched upon the human figure’s head. This Mezcala work is also notable for its broad flat surface, cut facial features, and uniquely deep gap between the legs of the standing figure. This may indicate that the original celt was extensively damaged before being recycled into this object by the artist. This would have been accomplished by using stone tools and perhaps thread. The representation of the face of the object leads scholars to date the creation of this work to around halfway through the Mezcala tradition.
Scholars suggest this bird, or avian, shape could also be associated with the bat and lunar symbolism in the Mezcala tradition. The object may have been created to help form a connection with the netherworld, in which the carved figure would, at night, aid in transferring the deceased person’s soul to the afterlife.
Spencer Throckmorton Collection, New York, NY;
Gift to The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 1999-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;
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.
Join our Mailing List