The ony living artist represented here, Susan Kliewer appears to be modest about her age, but has been living and sculpting in Sedona, Arizona for well over two decades. Not surprisingly, most of her statues have western themes.
If you should ever take a tour of the American West (an experience I can thoroughly recommend) there’s a good chance you’ll pass through Sedona en route to the Grand Canyon. It’s an interesting little town - part artist’s retreat, part New Age vortex, and very large part tourist trap - located in the heart of picturesque Oak Creek Canyon with its distinctive red rock buttes and mesas.
If while you’re there you have a bit of time between photographing the scenery, buying crystals and having lunch, you might want to drop in on Sinagua Plaza, just off the main street, where these guys are located.
“Sinagua” is the name given to a long-vanished group of Native American peoples who lived in what is now Arizona between the 6th and 15th centuries AD. The figures in Kliewer’s fountain statue are supposedly representative of that culture, although I suppose their appearance is largely based on speculation.
By the way, if this page piques your interest in this statue, you may be interested to know that a life-size copy was sold a few years ago for $65,000... You can still buy a small bronze version in a limited edition of 99 copies for a ‘mere’ $5,500 here. Personally, I’ll stick to photos - they’re a lot cheaper.
When I photographed the statue it was part of a fountain, although in some of the pictures the water is off due to drought restrictions. A few years later it appears the fountain was removed, and the statue relocated to a standalone position nearby.
The Plaza is on two levels, affording lots of good views of the statue except where obscured by the surrounding plants. Of course, what caught my eye about this statue was the male figure. The girl is pretty enough, but she’s quite modestly dressed (although it does look as though she might suffer a wardrobe malfunction if she raises her left arm). Compare that with the guy, who’s boldly stepping out in nothing more than a pair of flip-flops and a g-string. What was I saying about red buttes???
Versions of most of these photos have been posted on my Flickr account under the username “ketrin1407”.
Many of these pictures were taken in August 2007 when the southwest was suffering a blistering heatwave. The temperature that day was aproximately 105° Fahrenheit (41° Celsius). Not that I minded all that much - I just daydreamed about what it would be like to be him, standing virtually naked in that heat all day and every day, watching all the crazy tourists coming and going, and never having to use sunscreen...
And I guess the signs in the bottom (sic) right hand picture inadvertently sum up my feelings about this statue... “Happy” and “Body Bliss”! Thank you, and happy trails.
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