Inuit art: Walrus Skull
Inuit Artist: Ben Kovik
Size: 20" long, 12" wide
Community: Iqaluit, NU
Stone: Ivory / bone
Not permitted for our US clients
In this intriguingly ambiguous work, Kovik brilliantly fuses surface texture and form into this piece. He proves that texture does not need to be applied simply as decoration or as a "realistic detail". When applied wisely it can become an integral element of the form in itself. The result is an almost heraldic composition.
Quite frankly, this is one of the nicest pieces I have ever come across. I don't normally like to buy Ivory due to the many restrictions that the substance entails (restrictive exportation permits outside of Canada, etc...), however, when I saw this piece, my heart skipped a beat and I had to have it.
What captivated me to this piece were its stunning tusks. They possess an extraordinary laminate finish which cultivates a pearl ivory effervescence embodying its immediate surroundings.
The etched in designs and beautiful embroidery encompass the entire piece into an almost historical figure, transcending the subject from a state of hollow rawness into the nuances of art and perfection.
For these reasons alone, I put this piece into the masterpiece category. I was very lucky to stumble upon it.
Everything about this piece is masterful - the subject matter, the collage of stone elements, the over-exposed greyish stone, the fluidity of movement, and the overall realism of the piece. The skillful detail used to concoct such a masterpiece lends itself to a sense of realism found only in a real walrus from its natural habitat.
I truly admire carvings that come from distant communities in the North like Iqaluit. For one, carvings from here are very unique and original from what you would see from other Inuit communities. Secondly, the artists here have a different culture when it comes to carving. Rather than attempting dancing bears or transformations, they strive to make their piece in a traditional manner depicting a sense of realism and natural habitat of the Inuit and animals of the North.
This walrus skull is very unique but traditional to the Inuit culture. It is a beautiful piece and I did not hesitate for a second when acquiring it.