Expertly carved and polished from green and white stone (probably serpentine), the Teotihuacan figure stands over a foot tall with straight arms and a face evocative of Olmec masks, with flat head, deeply cut eyes and mouth, and drill holes, which were used in daily rituals as well as associated with burials. These features may also have originally contained inlaid materials such as shell or metal. The figure is missing the front of its right foot and may have been damaged in antiquity.
The Teotihuacan culture, influenced by civilizations such as the Olmec, in turn had a major impact on Mesoamerican cultures such as the Mixtec and Mexica (Aztecs). This object may have been associated with a burial or temple, or may have been revered as an object for personal devotion among elites. The striking green and white stone (generally valued higher than precious metals) was likely associated with fertility and the cycles of death and rebirth.
Gift to Private Collection;
[Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY];
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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