Saturday, April 26, 2008
"Lady, Madonna, children at your feet..."
What is is about these crusty, war-beaten figures that so many are fascinated with to acquire? Wood, plaster and even cement compose these hand-painted beauties, all ranging from 1880-1940 from France to Spain to Mexico. At Vintageweave we always seem to have a long list of people waiting for more to arrive after each buying trip. For each person, the fascination is different, perhaps more deeply personal. As a raised Roman Catholic, the serenity I see in the face and what they represent is the draw for me.
For others, it isn't a religious draw at all: I have a client who owns a high-end bakery in Beverly Hills. He can't get enough of them and the older and more falling apart the better (these inevitably are the most sought after and more expensive of the lot). I call or email when a new shipment comes in and he races over immediately to pick out the ones he wants. This goes on practically monthly. The kicker? He's not only male but he's Jewish! His girlfriend just shakes her head in confusion. (I tease that he must hide them all in a closet when his mother visits.) He just loves the way they look. Again, the calming face. Religious icons have such a calm to them. I was fortunate enough to hear His Holiness The Dali Lama speak at the Governer's Conference here in California a couple of years ago. His aura was mesmerizing; one I won't soon forget.
There is simply an inexplicable calming presence that surrounds any religious figure, icon or santos. What a lucky world we live in.