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Serious Cherubs

I am working on a new piece and I am mostly happy with its progress. I have found that some of the ingredients used in my work sometimes carry a lot of “visual references”. A musical instrument is one such form. In this case a violin can be difficult to integrate into a work but I have always loved its sensuous shape so I try to use it anyway.

There is another small element that concerns me — a carved wooden cherub I had purchased a few years ago. I have been struggling to use it ever since. Perhaps because it has such presence to it but there is also a characteristic that undermines its fine art quality. A kind of “cuteness” that makes cherubs more likely to show up in a “new age” store even if the Metropolitan Museum of Art is filled with these angels. This cherub is beautifully carved with a subtle light grain texture to it and it embodies the quality that I always look for in the ingredients I use.

Still in the creation phase, the parts are only placed for position (the “engineering” part has yet to be undertaken). The cherub head matches the tone of the alabaster shell above it and I am pleased with how these two elements “speak” to each other. And yet, I am concerned that the cherub may diminish the “seriousness” of this piece. As is so often the case, I will just have to wait a bit to see how the ingredients melt together. Waiting is frequently part of the process.

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