Sunday, April 06, 2014


The next item on our random walk outside the art museum is Mark Calderon's Madrina. Like his smaller Floribunda on Portland's transit mall, it takes inspiration from elaborate hairstyles. Madrina appears to be a full human figure, and seen from any angle it looks like you're seeing the statue from behind. Until you realize it's an identical hairstyle all the way around, and the joke's on you. I don't know if that makes it great art for the ages or not, but it has entertainment value, I guess.

A Seattle gallery website mentions that this is one of a series of five (another is at the art museum in Bellevue, WA), and the page offers a brief description:

Each work in this edition will be hand finished with a unique patina. A rich reddish brown appears in the crevices of this work.

The image is a reflection on the female figure. Her mystery is evident in the realization that, as the viewer moves around her, a face never appears. Instead, she is shrouded in 360 degrees with long tendrils of curled hair and a gown that is fluted with a scalloped bottom edge. She can be viewed as an abstraction of a Madonna figure but her curls also suggest the Buddhas of the Far East with their pin curls or topknots, and Grecian caryatids with their plaited hair.

"Madrina" is the Spanish word for godmother.

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