Sam Maloof (1916 – 2009) was an artist that never created furniture to be placed in a gallery with a ‘do not touch’ sign attached. He created an immense body of work that begs to be touched, with its sinewy lines and understated elegance. Sam truly allowed the imago dei to move his hands to create something new and beautiful out of a primary medium that in itself is forever new and beautiful. He truly embraced God’s intention in creation and we are all better for it.
Too often we who make objects – and I speak of all media – become quite taken with what we have done. We accept all credit, all praise. We become smug and conceited. I believe no man has ever designed anything that approaches the complexity of the simplest flower or the grandeur of a great redwood tree. God is the Creator of all things, and the beauty He has given us is awesome.
Make the effort to view any of the Maloof profiles and you will quickly discover two things, his humility and the natural way in which his hands guide the transformation process of the wood. He never forced the wood to conform to his will. Instead, as you see him sort through his piles of Walnut, his eyes and hands are searching for the boards that contain the piece of furniture that they were intended to be transformed into. We would all do well to view our own perspective on creation in the same way.
We’ll miss you Sam. God Bless.