Monday, March 19, 2007

Her best work and all the others

My mom is a sculptor. This weekend, Luca and I (and 300 other friends and family members) attended an exhibit of her pieces at the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City. The show celebrated 40 years of her work. Her life as I know it.

The sculptures I grew up with – the ones that started up as bent rods and inert lumps of clay and became sinewy horses, warriors, dancers – were displayed all over the garden of this beautiful place, among oranges and lemon blossoms, bougainvilleas and peacocks strutting and showing off their elaborate feathered tails. The sculptures stood like a defiant, metallic album of my childhood, growing up among the clay, the casts and the dust in her studio above my room.

The word “retrospective” honors an artist’s past work. I don’t think the Museum fully grasped the meaning of this proposition. The work represented in the bronze outlines that are a result of my mother’s prolific life are gleaming black green shadows. Her real work is the people who walked among them. All of us: her friends, their children (now my own soul-friends) my brothers and sisters, my father and Tomas.

You see, in varying degrees, we are all a result of the life my mother sculpted. We have all been shaped by those big hands. The sculptures, muscle and movement; and the flesh and blood men and women we have all somehow become. We have in common the gloriously deranged privilege of having caught a glimpse of the world through my mother’s eyes.

As proud as I am of this weekend, I am not ready for my mother’s life to be a retrospective. She’s not done. All her life she has spoken of heroism. Of crossing the Earth on a winged chariot, of a man’s reach exceeding his grasp, of defying the odds, of showing the world that the rules that apply to humanity do not apply to her and those under her wings. She owes us, owes me, at least another 40 years of intense, inspired creation.


Miguel Cane said...

I agree with you, Dushka.

Your mothers' work (and not only the beautiful sculpture, but also the writing and the traveling) is not and, for that matter, will never be done.

That is, at least the way I see it, because Carol (whom I've known for the past ten years, and grown to be very much fond of)is an exemplary teacher for life.

That is, and obviously you know this better than me, she selflessly and most generously spreads the knowledge she acquires and shares it with you, either be through conversation, or a book, or through the bronzes that acquire a shape all their own.

The show makes us privy to the weaving of an extraordinary heart: there is passion and awe, and tenderness. And of course, at the very center, a wonderful circle of children: her children.

Both Tomás and Carol are extraordinary, warm and loving human beings. I am not saying anything you would not know, fortunate as you were to be nurtured by the sunshine doled gently by them. However, this should be also a source of utter joy, being a part of this astounding body of work, and being one of the two most priceless creations of this artist.

Sincere congratulations to Carol, and to you.

PS: It's a great blog. I will, if you don't mind, come around and read.



Dushka said...


Thank you for your thoughtful note. Coming from my mom is indeed a source of utter joy.

And, please do come around to read my blog - be sure to check out the early entries for more fun mom facts. You might enjoy, for example, "Hungry for Life".

David said...

Surely the word should have been 'tribute'!!! What a wonderful honor, Dushka. I can only imagine how unbelievably proud you are.

Adriana Ramos said...


Dicen que el pasado es el que nos muestra el futuro en el que nos envolveremos como seres únicos, independientes y en el que como seres responsables, tendremos nuestra oportunidad de compartir con nuestra pareja, nuestros amigos,nuestra comunidad o nuestros hijos. Me encanta saber que no te alejes de ese pasado que tanto te caracteriza la “Gran Escultora”, tu Padre el “H. Diplomático”, esa explosión de personalidades que han llenado en ti esa alma de pasión, esa “Dushka”. Estoy encantada del cambio del título del blog, y orgullosa de saber que fuí parte de ese pasado, aún cuan remoto como chispa fué, tuve la oportunidad de conocer a tu madre “Carol”, una de las mejores periodista que ha existido en México (siempre decía mi Padre) y escultoras inigualable. Nuestros pasados familiares y pasado de juventud se han cruzados varias veces y ahora…como adultos una vez más se vuelven enlazar. Gracias por el apoyo para crear mi “blog”, ya casi lo termino, porque comencé un Web page… ese capítulo después lo comento. Nos veremos pronto amiga querida…y gracias por compartir tu vida conmigo.