ART CENTRE
 COSTA BRAVA









The Cane as a Work of Art
Published in El Noticiero del Viernes, p.11, 1984
Ancient is the history of the staff; so ancient that one detects the first walking stick in prehistoric times, shaped from deer antlers - as old as the very existence of mankind.

During the course of centuries and civilizations, they adopted more defined characteristics; sometimes magical or sacred; others, in the Hebrew and Egyptian peoples, as a symbol of authority. The Romans conserve this aspect; perhaps the first civilization who used them for support and aid was the Greek. The artistic cultures enriched them with forms and mysterious incisions; in Mesopotamia they used to finish their designs with a flower.

The Middle Ages takes in this magical and sacred facet of staffs; they cover them with gold or with silver; the use of ecclesiastical staffs develops. After a crisis, we have in the XVIIIth century, the use, amongst the "Illustrious" of "Jewelled staffs" with crafted grips covered with precious stones, following a parallel path as those of sword hilts.

Our romantic nineteenth century gives birth to the sword cane, hiding in its interior the clean steel of duels and honor.

The use of the cane falls, as does many things, into a crisis at the start of the century, result of a social change; women abandon the corset, and men the support of the cane. A new society, oriented towards sports and open air activities, renounces all that signifies symbology and support.

Now, here we have in Barcelona, the sculptor Cocomir seeking the resurrection of the magical and talismatic world of the cane. He presents in the Galeria Lleonart up to 150 examples with individualized carvings of their grips, ordered according to different series; Mythological, Nobel, Animalistic, Modernist, etc. etc. Every collection has ten models and are numbered and certified.

Cocomir, excellent sculptor, knower of the findings of Moore, puts his technique at the service of cane making. He doesn't innovate the shaft nor the tip, but concentrates on the grip as do good craftsmen. He doesn't create examples as the famous salt shaker of Cellini, a veritable jewel but incapable of spilling salt. Cocomir keeps in mind, with his grips, the hand that is going to hold them; following and accommodating to it the forms, building beautiful and graceful examples, which he enriches with lacquers, or respects the noble wood of ebony; he polychromes them, carves or conditions the golden bronze, and also, like the cane makers of the XVIIIth century he incrusts in his forms semiprecious stones to emphasize a magical sparkling, especially in the eyes of his zoomorphic grips.

The undertaking is curious, everything goes and returns, society after its individualistic utopias returns to company and support. Even if it is no more than a humble cane with the grip ennobled by the carving of an artist.



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