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art/craft/maria martinez/and the village

updated fri 6 sep 02


Jeremy McLeod on thu 5 sep 02

John Guerin wrote:

> Did you know that it was Maria's husband Julian who 'rediscovered' the lost
> art of Reduction Firing that turned Maria's red pottery black. It was also
> Julian who painted all of Maria's pots. That's right, Maria never decorated
> any of her pottery. What Maria did was outlive her husband by 40 years. Her
> daughter-in-law Santana, her son Papove Da and her grandson Tony Da painted
> her pottery after Julian passed away.

Until John's posting there was something missing in this discussion of "Maria's"
pottery and the Art/Craft continuum. It's this matter of art being the product of

a whole bunch of people in community.

The 19th and 20th centuries have distracted our attention from such communal
forms of art making. Unless the work is done by some solitary creative genious
(throwning in some fodder for the grammar/spelling folks) expressing something
idiocyncratically unique, it's not art in the eyes of some. Hawghwarsh.

Western art of earlier centuries (paintings, tapestries, gold/silver wares,
stained glass,
architecture) to name a few) were the product of workshops under the leadership
of a recognized master. I don't hear folks questioning if the windows in medieval

cathedrals are art or craft.

I'm one who figures that the sooner we jettison much of the obcession with the
romanticism of the lone creative genius and recognize the communal aspects of
art making the healthier we will be as a culture.