kudan wrote:That said, however, I don't find these carvings beautiful--even the Morita Soko Rabbit on which Clive is so keen--any more than I like Cubist art, Henry Moore sculptures or Jackson Pollack paint dribbles. The easy comparison here is to the ubiquitous Kagetoshi netsuke of a pastoral scene in a grove or pavillion--each so minutely and expertly carved--leaving many a collector with a "wow!" but not with an "I want that!" This is a very personal statement, obviously, but I would be very curious to know who among you actually would seek ittobori carvings to cherish in your collections--not as a curiosity but as a centerpiece. Well, at least now I know why ittobori carvings aren't my cup of tea.
That's interesting Kudan, many thanks you for your appreciative and personal comments.
FWIW.. I think Soko's hare is a beautiful carving precisely because it isn't trying to be beautiful and it asks nothing of me... it simply represents to a quite extraordinary degree a unique dialogue between a master carver, a material and a subject... and in doing so helps me appreciate each in a truly intimate way. Would I have it as the centrepiece of a netsuke collection (if I chose to create one).. probably not. Is it a carving I might carry around in my pocket, to take out every now and then when the craziness of the world begins to overwhelm me, without a doubt.