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Michael Lucero And The Lady With Two Curls (With References)

1115 words - 4 pages

Michael Lucero and the Lady with Two CurlsMichael Lucero's artwork expands traditional Western ideas about what art is, the origin of art, and how to unify cultural artifact-styled pieces in a utilitarian way. His work is distinguished by the different ways that he incorporates many cultures including Pre-Columbian, Native American, European, Afro-Carolinian, and the vernacular and popular media. This fusion helps our own understanding of art on a different level; one centered around the oneness of all cultures, identities, and societies.Michael Lucero was born and raised in suburban California. As a child, he and his family often made summer visits to his maternal grandparents' house in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Their adobe style house was very different from the modern style of his house in California. He was amazed by the Native American artwork in the area, and would always play in the arroyo that his grandparents lived on the edge of. Above all, he enjoyed playing with reptiles, amphibians, and insects. This playing often carries over into his work, when illustrating a certain animal or insect on his pieces. His undergraduate work was done at Humboldt State University, and in 1978, he received his M.F.A. degree from the University of Washington. There he mostly worked with shards, and concentrated mostly on scale and how the sculptured form is presented or displayed. Traditionally, most sculpted pieces are displayed on pedestals of some sort, but he chose to suspend many of his pieces, in free form, from the ceiling. Soon after receiving his graduate degree, he moved to New York to continue his work in ceramics and later abruptly stopped working in ceramics, and started to work on bronze sculpture. Though raised Catholic, he recently discovered that his ancestral past is linked to the Sephardic strain of Judaism, as these Jews were thrown out of Spain during the Inquisition, and hid in Latin America and Mexico. Much of the images in his work show the connectivity between the religions, and other cultures in general.The specific line of work of his that most interested me is from the period he titles, Pre-Columbus. This line features different sculptures of smaller human -type forms. The specific piece that I liked the most is entitled Lady with Two Curls. This vibrantly colorful piece measures to be 18 x 16 x 8inches (45.7 x 40.6 x 20.3 cm). What would be considered to be the front, or face-side of the sculpture, the face is divided in two, one side bearing an image of a pre-Columbian gold mask, and the other a beautiful landscape. The painting of the landscape features clouds in the sky, a large tree in front of a large mountain range. Half the torso and opposite side of the face is covered in a blood red color, with what appears to be blue water dripping down like blood from the landscape scene. The figure is holding an Acoma black-on-white pottery bowl in her lap with one hand which is purposely painted white, and almost seems glove-like in...

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