Melancholy, Rancor and Bitterness
'ISICHAPUITU (MELANCHOLY, FLAKY, NETA, Peruvian Kukuli Velarde makes work indebted to folk tradition and traditional ornamentation, exploring the new politics of identity, estrangements of context and acts of “forgetfulness” that occur as art is displaced from its origin. ‘Melancholy’ is cut from a series of works exploring memory, fear, desire and ideology through figurative icons that, in tandem, present a larger picture of the artists identity and belief in a shared system of traits. The sculpture is arguably the most elaborate and outwardly ornate of the series, the surface of the ceramic fired and highlighted to bring out a subtle pink hue that intensifies around points of depth or detail in a remarkably flesh-like manner. Cracked fins or extraneous, flaking details (most noticeably in the halo surrounding the head of the figure) are given a rich golden enamel coat, their reptilian nature reinforced by the brace of lizards crawling across and penetrating the surface of the form in an abject and violently sexual fusion. ENTANGLED, CULEBREANDO), 1998-2001 glazed earthenware each 24 in. (61 cm.) high (5) Sheboygan, Kohler Arts Center, Kukuli Velarde: Cantaros de Vida (The Isichapuitu Series), 2002.