CountyPrince George's County
Artist StatementThese works are examples of ritual art for contemporary American culture. Initially inspired by Congolese power figures (mnkisi), these sculptures are intended to function as icons for their owners, interactive vehicles for their therapeutic energies. Each represents a significant figure now on the other side, an individual one might want to call upon to intervene on his or her behalf. Each work also embodies a significant attribute serving as a focal point of contemplation to help heal deficiencies in the lives of the object’s owner. The owners’ interactive engagement with the works may take the form of different ritual traditions: driving nails (mbau) into the figures in the Congo tradition, attaching Milagros in folk Catholic traditions of Latin America or tying prayers to them in Mediterranean region traditions. The pieces are intentionally aged and “used” to confound their existence as precious objects.
Greg Metcalf was born in Washington state, grew up in Asia and Minnesota and somehow ended up in Maryland where he has been making ritual objects for two decades.