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Totem Pole
by Jason Blair Roberson
120"x 28"x 28"

Location: Fifth Street

Jason Blair Roberson Sculpture

Value: $10,000

Artist Statement

Inspired by both the great arts of the ancient and modern times, I seek a connection between contemporary life, culture, and the historical foundation of civilization. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sculpture, Olmec sculpture, in particular, has influenced me and has helped me to find meaning in the human head. The Olmec people carved realistic heads, of monumental proportions, out of stone. Their powerful and timeless presence has compelled me to carve large heads out of wood.

Each head in "Totem Pole" is unique. At the bottom sits a 600lb helmeted man made of White Oak, while a 5lb Olmec warrior made from Black Walnut is perched at the top. This color transition, light at the bottom to dark at the top, is important to note. The species of woods on the Totem Pole from the bottom up are White Oak, Red Oak, Cherry, Cedar, and Black Walnut.

Historically the word "totem" refers to a plant, animal, or natural object that a certain family or clan reserves as sacred. Today "totem" is more likely to be an icon such as an admired celebrity. These "totems" are often represented as a face, a person, or a physical human attribute seen in moving digital imagery or captured by the silk screen process on a cotton t-shirt. Not just a stylized man of today or a copy of ancient subjects: rather - these portraits of imaginary humans represent the diverse range of human culture.

Jason Blair Roberson
814 Swan Ridge Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Phone: 434-882-2196


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