Butterfly Woman (SOLD)
Ron Wood Studio
25801 Roanoke Road
Sun City, CA 92586
Original Bronze Sculpture
Butterfly Woman 24″ tall/ 17″ dia/ weight 65 lbs.
Bronze Sculptures by Andra Dunn
In 1983 I was invited to have a one-man-show at the Galerie Lietzow in Berlin. . Malcolm Dunn (RIP) took pictures for the exhibit. I commissioned his daughter, Andra Dunn, to do sculptures of two mythical creatures that might be found in the arboreal environment. Thus began the curious journey of the Lion Man and the Butterfly Woman.
Arriving in Berlin with twenty-three sculptural works we found that the gallery floors were too tight to display all of the works. The overflow was exhibited in the main lobby of the Hotel Stiegenberger, including the Kings Game Table, the Butterfly Woman and the Lion Man.
During the month of the exhibition the Lion Man was stolen from the hotel lobby. The rest of the exhibit was sent to Kuwait to be exhibited again, minus a couple of sales in Berlin and the Butterfly Woman, as she shared a crate with the missing Lion Man so she awaited a new solitary crate.
This leg of the exhibition was sponsored by the US Embassy to honor the Emir of Kuwait in friendship with the USA. The show was widely anticipated and many dignitaries were to attend from all over the Gulf States.
While awaiting my visit to Kuwait to set up the exhibit the German Criminal Polizei called me at my studio in Laguna Beach to tell me that they had recovered the purloined Lion Man, returned it to the gallery, who sent the crate with the Lion Man and Butterfly woman on to Kuwait to join the rest of the exhibit.
Things move slowly in the Middle East, but a couple years later my sponsors (Yacoub Musleh) asked me to come and oversee the arrangements for the exhibit. The twenty-three crates were in storage at a museum warehouse and the first step was to go through customs. Large back lit wall murals and lighted layered sculptures were all disassembled in the crates and there were crates of frames, crates of electronics, boxes of nuts and bolts as well as crates of glass, frames, pedestals, etc. This array of materials was evidently a puzzle to the rather thorough customs agents and it was 60 days after arriving that I got a phone call from a Sheik, the Minister of the Interior.
Arriving in the Sheik’s offices I was greeted in the traditional manner of the country, served Arabian coffee, and chatting informally for a while before he pulled out a long document and asked what was the purpose of the Lion Man and Butterfly Woman. I explained that they had been commissioned to grace the glass environment as whimsical arboreal creatures. The Sheik explained that he himself was a cosmopolitan man and understood, but that the Chinese laborers would be prone to worship the statues.
(What Chinese laborers were going to be invited to an exhibit given in honor of the royal family I have no idea). Further both statues violated Kuwait’s obscenity laws. The Lion Man has a human penis and the Butterfly Woman is rambunctiously nude. These attributes were strictly against the law to posses or show in this Islamic country.
After being told I could be arrested and/or deported for such violation of their laws the Minister decided that in light of the connection to the Emir they would instead deport the sculptures, thus they were returned to my studio in Laguna.
After almost 6 months of negotiations, scheduling, venue arrangements (finally arranged to be held at the Kuwaiti Hilton), deciding on the Embassy invitations, all rested with the Office of the Emir. I returned to the states to await these scheduling decisions and manage my studio.
The Lion Man and Butterfly Woman arrived safely back at my studio. They were to be the only works in the exhibit that were not destroyed by the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. They seem to have a life of their own. They have been with me since their return in 1985.