“Flowers are a symbol of love. For me, love is the most important thing, nothing else comes close. All of the riches in the world cannot compare to the love I share with my family. However, like a delicate flower, love can be easily crushed through purpose or neglect. Yet still, in the hottest desert or the highest mountain, a flower will find a way to grow. No matter how you cover a seed, the flower will find a way to survive. And if you put it in a nice pot with sunshine and water, you’ll end up with a bush which will grow and blossom, leading to many flowers.” – Mackenzie Thorpe
In this Mackenzie Thorpe limited edition sculpture, a child, depicted in Thorpe’s signature style, reaches a single sunflower high into the sky as he arabesques one leg into the air. He seems to be ready to freely give the flower, and his love, to whoever he encounters. Like the children in Thorpe’s paintings, this figure has no face and is wearing a simple duffle coat with sturdy shoes. Thorpe depicts children in this way because he wants the viewer to be able to see himself in the image, regardless of race, gender, or background. The only details are two simple button closures on his coat, suggesting that he does not come from much but he does not let that hold him back.
This sculpture is life size at 77” high. Thorpe likes to work at this scale because adult viewers are able to look the figure in the face and contemplate where they were at 10 years old. He has no face because he is everybody. Thorpe invites people to interact with his work and loves this participatory element.
The bronze medium allows for the child to be strong, wearing a suit of armor, during a time in his life where he may be vulnerable. He is protected because all he wants to do is bring love and sunshine to everyone that he encounters. Thorpe likes to work in bronze as he can play with the medium, communicating soft features and messages in a hard, permanent sculpture. This sculpture is tender and gentle, filled with hope and lightheartedness as the child reaches his flower as high as his dreams. All he wants to do is give love and to be loved in return. We have all been in a position where we may be feeling vulnerable but we need to have hope and carry on anyways. Thorpe wants to emphasize that we will be there again, in an unhappy or dark position, and that love is the biggest, most important thing that will get us through it.
Like the sunflowers, Thorpe believes that children are able to sow love, by planting its seed at our feet. This piece has an overwhelming theme of hope and joy. Children naturally bring love into the world, it’s as we grow older than prejudices and negative thoughts develop. They drop love and positivity naturally, making everyone smile. This sentiment is contagious and it grows just like the sunflowers that the child carries.
This Mackenzie Thorpe artwork, along with several others, is available for purchase at Marcus Ashley Gallery in Lake Tahoe. With over 18 years of business and 40+ artists on exhibit, Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fine art destinations. In addition to outstanding customer service, Marcus Ashley offers custom framing, private home shows for clients within 60 miles and worldwide shipping.