2019-13 Hunky man statue

Object ID:
2019-13

Artist:
Larson Goldtooth, Mark Tahbo

Dimensions:
7.0" tall X 5.0" wide at elbows

1.3125 deep at hat; 1.5625″ deep at feet.

This hunky man is a curious, delightful oddity by two friends, one the teacher of the other, Mark Tahbo and Larson Goldtooth. I do not yet know what each man contributed to the formation of the figure. Larson is the only potter at Hopi who makes human effigies (cf 2013-24), though these figures are fully rounded and more detailed and representational than 2019-13.   What seems consistent is his pleasure in the humor of life.

The figure is a pale tan color, maybe a Pahana tourist.  Only the faintest blushing indicates an outdoor firing.

The back of the figure is flat and the front articulated.  At one end the brim of the hat and at the other the long feet provide the greatest depth of form.  The arms are simple hoops, like the handles of a canteen. Hands are indicated by two sets of five lines held against the head.  This fellow might be holding a pose in a body-building contest, or perhaps he is sunning on the beach at Lake Hopi. Because there is no defined neck, the face seems oddly round and isolated.  Perched on his head is a red cap marked USA: he is on our team.  Cool sunglasses perch on a wedge nose with tiny black dots for nostrils.  Black lips frame a round mouth.

Slabs of  pectorals with nipples adorn his chest, ridges of six-pack abdominal muscles below.  A maroon boxer swim suit covers him modestly, its edges outlines with thin white lines.  Adding a bit of anti-macho detail are his painted toenails.  Small lover-boy red heart tattoos adorn the outside of each ankle.

The undecorated rear is signed “Lar. G” and “MT,” underlined by a smoking pipe indicating a tobacco clan affiliation.

It’s pretty much impossible to see effigy 2019-13 and not smile: that’s great folk art. This little man reflects the humor that often marks the interaction of people on the Hopi reservation.

Purchase History:
Purchased with an online bid from Munn Auctions, 6-11-19, Lot #123. It is out of a "large and eclectic collection" in Scottsdale, AZ.