I found this delightful pair of tourist figures on Martha Arquero’s table at the 2010 Indian Market very early Saturday morning. Martha is one of Damacia Cordero’s daughters and, like her mother, has long been known for her delightful human and animal figures. One of Marth’s figures, a kangeroo storyteller from about 1980, is illustrated as Figure 24 in Babcock and Monathan’s book The Pueblo Storyteller.
This couple is decked out! Sunglasses, sandals, indian belts, western-wear, holding a pot for possible purchase at Indian Market, etc. They are funny and oh so human. And the humor is friendly; they are not depicted as bad or unkind people. They are just, well, funny! I guess we all are. These pieces continue a long tradition of such comical figures at Cochiti. The book Clay People is a catalog on the wonderful Wheelwright Museum show several years ago in Santa Fe of early Cochiti satirical figures. These included tourists, circus performers, opera singers, etc. Martha is well aware of this tradition and to our great delight continues to add to it.
Although our photographs (by Addison Doty) are quite beautiful, these pieces are at the gallery and simply need to be seen to be fully appreciated. They are remarkable examples of Cochiti traditional figure making and their sheer size give them humerous and large presence. They are formed and painted beautifully, by a veteran potter still at the height of her powers.
Also delightful is Martha herself. She will be at the gallery on Saturday February 19 as part of our Cochiti Storyteller opening. Come by and meet her and say hello.
Condition is excellent; original and unrestored.