Inuit art: Polar Bear
Inuit Artist: Paul Malliki
Size: 30" long, 11" high, 16" wide. Weight: 180.6 lbs
Community: Repulse Bay, NU
Stone: Marble (sparkly snow white)
This is without a doubt, the nicest inuit carving I have ever seen or owned. It is a perfect replica of a real polar bear. The capacity of has to master to achieve such realism is not only beyond the skills of any other Inuit artist, it is beyond any artist in the world.
This piece is not for sale. It will be featured in the Inuit Art Quarterly - June edition. This piece was exhibited at the museum of Inuit art in Winnipeg before landing in our gallery.
This piece is the ultimate demonstration of Paul Malliki’s interest; the visages are highly realistic, harmonious with the crisp and flawless proportions. This bear is remarkable on its own; the assemblage is quite extraordinary.
Paul Malliki is one of the most prolific and influential Inuit carvers today. He shares this title alongside other masters like Jimmy Iqlauq, Pitseolak Qimirpik & Lucassie Ikkidluak. Malliki brings a fresh and unique element to the Inuit art milieu.
Paul Malliki had many prestigious commissions, including presentation gifts to Prime Minister Brian Mulrony and Jean Cretien, and the Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. In 2000 he was also commissioned to produce a carving of ptarmigan for the Official Symbols Project for the Legislative building in Iqaluit, and in 1999 was 1 of 6 artists who made the Nunavut Mace.
Paul Malliki is the absolute premier Inuit and Canadian artist known and insurmountably famous for his lifelike masterpiece polar bears. I was able to received two bears by him recently which allotted me a wait time of about three years.
Investment wise, this is a blue chip. The value will not only hold, but also increase greatly over time. This calibre of piece is fitted for an Inuit art magazine cover and would be a featured piece in any Inuit art auction venue or exhibition.
Why are his bears so famous? Just look at the unparalleled detail, the etchings in the stone to make the fur, the perfect balance of the piece and the gorgeous white coloration. The flow and movement of this bear, as well as the muscle tone is an exact replica of that of a real life polar bear. It takes over 6 months for Paul Maliki to complete a piece like this. The carved stone has to be done so intricately and fine in order to achieve such epic perfections. Also, 30 years of carving experience is also key.
This bear is a paramount piece and a serious addition to any art collection. This bear and the other one we have are examples of the most perfect Inuit carving you will ever see in your lifetime.
PAUL QUVIQ MALLIKI
Paul MalikiPaul was born in 1956 in an outpost camp near the community of Igloolik. He lived there with his family until he was 10 years old. At the time, they moved into Igloolik, where he stayed until he was 20. His family then moved to Naujaat to be with his grandmother. Paul still lived there with his wife and 7 children.
Paul did his first carving when he was 5 years old. He learned by himself, by watching other people. “Mostly from myself. I’ve learned most things by hunting. By seeing what’s around me. When I hunt animals, I study them. All the animals that are around us.”
“People always want my work. My Father would be away for days hunting, trapping foxes. If I didn’t go with him I would carve to support the family, if I wasn’t out hunting myself, in the dead of winter”
Paul carves many different kinds of animals and faces, but has most fun with caribou. His work can be found in many private and public collections and is in demand at galleries across North America, including Fehley Fine Arts Gallery in Toronto and the Judy Birch Gallery in Virginia and Nova Scotia. He has had many prestigious commissions, including presentation gifts to Prime Minister Brian Mulrony and Jean Cretien, and the Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. In 2000. he was also commissioned to produce a carving of ptarmigan for the Official Symbols Project for the Legislative building in Iqaluit, and in 1999 was 1 of 6 artists who made the Nunavut Mace. He was also invited to participate in the sculpting symposium- Stories in Stone, and has been repeatedly invited to attend the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Associations annual Arts Festival.
When he is not carving, Paul enjoys working with his dog team, hunting, and building things. “Just about everything. I like my life.”