"Despoena" is Greek for 'the mistress', and indeed, she is a most challenging mistress to serve. This is a muse we all have faced at one time or another. She's the one that will break your heart - throwing experiences your way to make you stronger, test your resolve or cause you to become more introspective for a period of time - descending into the darkness to return with new insights. Some of the most beautiful works have been created out of great sorrow.
The pose of this sculpture is based on the dance of the bullfight - the Paso Doble. In the Paso Doble, there are dance steps that mimic the actions of the Banderillero - the one who pierces the bull in the upper back, causing grave injury but not death. While I am fundamentally opposed to bullfighting, the image of this muse willing to sting the heart in the name of inspired work seems most appropriate.
Despoena: Muse of Challenges, 31”x 13”x 9,” Fired clay with 22K gold leaf Private collection: Albuquerque, NM USA