Jokers and Talismans
Bertrand Goy and Max Itzikovitz
Contributions by Gisèle Krausskopff and Henri Bancaud
Photographs by Hughes Dubois
A fascinating overview of the relatively unknown art of Nepal.
In the 1980s, enigmatic wood masks, similar to those worn by Siberian and Eskimo shamans, began to appear in Parisian galleries that specialized in exotic art. Only the customary red wax affixed to the objects indicated that their origin was in fact Nepal. Art lovers fascinated by the masks’ expressions and the thickness of patina enthusiastically began to collect them, though they were still shrouded in mystery. In this beautifully photographed book, Bertrand Goy and Max Itzikovitz set out to uncover the history of the masks and to determine their place in Nepalese culture.
The authors also investigate western Nepal’s unsophisticated, anthropomorphic wood sculptures, which can be seen today in temples, on bridges, and on the outskirts of villages. No one knows if these are protective effigies or tribute to divinities from an antiquated religion. With an insightful text and striking imagery, this book attempts to pull back the veil on one of the world’s most cryptic art forms.
Bertrand Goy, a member of the Société de Géographie and the Société des Africanistes, is specialized in the history of primitive arts. His publication Jaraï, was awarded the 2006 Auguste Pavie award by the Académie des Sciences d’Outremer.
Max Itzikovitz is a well-known collector of primitive arts.