Ortiz, Virgil – Blind Archer with Red Rose & Wildflowers Jar
This is a striking but smaller jar by Virgil Ortiz. The piece is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach (a plant) for the black. The jar is painted with one of Virgi’s iconic images. It is that of Tahu, the Blind Archer, with a rose in her mouth. The story for this image is part of the Pueblo Revolt 1680/2180 series.
“The various characters that make up the Pueblo Revolt series are all inspired by names and words in Keres and other Puebloan languages. “Tahu” is a word used as a sign of respect for older Pueblo women. ” The story of the blind archers is about a young Tahu who is blinded by one of the Conquistadors during an archery contest. Years later she becomes the leader of the Blind Archers and part of the Pueblo Revolt. Ortiz imbues the storyline with the importance of survival, courage, hope, and determination.” Revolt 1680/2180, Charles S. King
Separating the two Tahu images are wildflowers, which curl and swirl up from the base of the jar. Note as well the “spirit line” which is a space in the painting on the rim. Virgil has also incorporated his signature “x”, which is the turkey track, onto the jar. The piece is signed on the bottom. It is from 2013 and it is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. The use of traditional and contemporary imagery has become a standard for Virgil’s pottery as he pushes the boundaries of contemporary Native clay. His work can be found in museums worldwide, including the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Heard Museum, the Denver Art Museum and more.
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