This relatively large Mezcala object is carved from an unidentified stone that may be green andesite into a standing figure. It has a flat head, pronounced eyebrows, subtle nose, and intended mouth indicative of the Mezcala tradition. This work’s unknown artist or artists has also hollowed away the stone to create the arms, as well as polished and carved away the front to create the arms and hands folded across the torso of the figure. Finally, the legs appear to be widely spaced apart and perhaps carved from a large or ceremonial celt, or hand axe.
Mezcala figures such as this are often associated with burial settings or have been found to have been traded/excavated by ancient Mesoamericans and reinterred in the foundations of major temples. This is a particularly defined and worked piece, perhaps indicating great skill and knowledge of stone-working associated with elite practices or an elite individual.
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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