“Till we have faces”

As a portrait sculptor,  I suppose it is a bit ironic that some of my favorite pieces of figurative art do not have faces!  The Venus of Willendorf is powerful because her lack of a face points directly to her role as any-woman, earth mother, fecundity personified.

How exciting was the news today that another very early  fertility statuette has been found! Dating back some 35,000 years ago, this may well be the earliest known sculpture that depicts a human.

Yahoo news, May 13, 2009

Yahoo news, May 13, 2009

Where her head would be is an eyelet instead, which suggests it might have been worn as a necklace or amulet. Somehow it’s ok that she doesn’t have a head.

I am  struck yet again, when I ponder these ancient little figurines,  that we are all of us indeed  simply “specks of sand, dust in the wind,” and yet  at the very same time  each profoundly special.  How can we be both? Just ask a portrait sculptor. So individually unique are our faces!

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