Philosophy: a synthesis of European and Maori carving traditions

“Christensen is a non-Maori sculptor with an interest in and respect for the Maori carving tradition. He has studied carving with a northern Maori master, and his work is a synthesis of European and Maori ideas. This is dangerous territory, and any artist attempting to inhabit it must avoid such pitfalls as trivialisation, pastiche, superficial modernising and kitsch. Many have failed, including artists of Maori descent. Christensen’s work succeeds because of his skill, the originality of his ideas and his ability to seek out the areas where the emblems of one culture match another. His work since 1986 has done this with ever-increasing conviction.”

Another 100 New Zealand Artists

Warwick Brown Published by Godwit Press 1996

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