Mai Gutierrez- Sculptor
The stone carving process is utterly slow and demanding of patience. Even the simplest of stone sculptures can take months, sometimes even years to create. It all starts with the rough shaping, followed by hours and hours of sanding until ready for polishing. Stones are natural substances that have been slowly created with the passing of years, as a combination of minerals. I consider them to be oldest of souls, with lots of history in their veins.
Ancient civilizations used them regularly in their lives; as cooking and hunting tools, the building blocks for their temples, and as sculptures representing their gods. Every stone is different, even if they come from the same area. Their shapes, colors, and even smell as you carve into them are different. It’s as if to say each has its own delicate spirit. As a Mexican artist, I’d like to think the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica somehow still influence my work subconsciously.
These pieces are an interpretation of how humans can easily forget their interaction with their environment. It’s easy in the world of today to be strictly focused on screens and hardly in touch with the natural world. By peeling back layers of the stone, exposing, polishing and showcasing the history, we can notice how elegant and exquisite these natural substances can be; bringing us back to our ancient roots. Wood, bronze and stone are natural elements commonly found in our modern world’s architecture. They are easily walked on or past without realization of their origin.
By leaving parts of the rocks intact, they start taking geometric shapes, mimicking the buildings surrounding us. A sort of balance of new and old. The framed pieces are a frozen vignette, they’re made to focus our attention into the diverse layers composing the stone; all the different minerals compacted through time. The cuts, shine and polishing elevate the spirit of the rocks to an elegant and fragile state.