signed and dated 1971 (back)
5"x 15" x 6" (13 cm x 38 cm x 15 cm)
Provenance: Private Collection, Makati City
By distilling the animal form to its essence, Abueva imbues the lowly beast of burden with unexpectedly spare, elegant grandeur. Animals have long been part of the art story. Some of the earliest images known are of animals brushed into being on the walls of caves more than forty thousand years ago.
Animals carved in wood or stone, for nationalistic or for purely ornamental reasons, such as the carabao, are also to be found in the oeuvre of the sculptor Napoleon Abueva. The carabao may be seen as a creature of contentment, the bourgeoisie among beasts of burden. In delineating the moods of the carabao in marble, Abueva appealed to the Filipinos for his sentimental semi abstraction of animal subjects. These were created with no greater purpose in mind than to add warmth to the personal space or bring some small pleasure to the owner.