WITH A WHEELBARROW AS ITS BASE, Martin Puryear's sculpture C.F.A.O. appears to be an object on the move. The scaffold-like pine element, a visual treat in its own right, also seems to stabilize a mold for a large face.
Viewers are pointed to West Africa West Africa
A region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea. It was largely controlled by colonial powers until the 20th century.
West African adj. & n. by the work's title, an abbreviation abbreviation, in writing, arbitrary shortening of a word, usually by cutting off letters from the end, as in U.S. and Gen. (General). Contraction serves the same purpose but is understood strictly to be the shortening of a word by cutting out letters in the middle, of Compagnie Francaise de l'Afrique Occidentale (The French Company of West Africa), and by the source of the simplified facial shape, a ceremonial mask made by the Fang people of West Africa.
In time C.F.A.O. unsettles me. The implication that the mask form is a copy reminds me of the market for objects from other cultures. I need not distinguish between the items collected from a specific society, crafted solely for tourists, or simply reproduced (anywhere in the world) since they are sold simply for decorative purposes. My unease recognizes that cultures "foreign" to me are more than their portable artifacts artifacts
see specimen artifacts. .
How little I know about others--their lives, their dreams, and even their goods. What appears curiously exotic to me is another's familiar home.
By JERRY BLEEM, O.F.M., a priest and artist who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a fine arts college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a professional college of the visual and related arts, accredited since 1936 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and since 1944 (charter member) by the . Image: Martin Puryear Martin Puryear (born May 23, 1941) is an African American sculptor. He was born in Washington, D.C., and he spent his youth studying practical crafts, learning how to build guitars and furniture. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1964 to 1966. . C.F.A.O., 2006-2007. Raw and painted wood, 100 h. x 60 x 76 inches (254 x 152 x 193 cm). Photography: Tom Van Eynde. Courtesy Donald Young G