"Like a contemporary shaman, Bob Rizzo takes found objects and gives them new life…"
Michael Cochran, Artsmedia Magazine, Nov. 04,  Boston, MA
"...He’s also found a highly personal means of expression — a series of rough-hewn figurative sculptures that incorporate “found objects” such as toys, coins, shells and even bits of cast-off furniture and cabinetry. At once old and new, they draw on sources as diverse as African totem figures, pre-Columbian carvings and Hopi kachina dolls."
Bill Van Siclen, Providence Journal,  July, 2008


An nkisi figure is an awe-inspiring object. The nails hammered into the body evoke disturbing sensations. Foremost is the sensation of pain whose distinct tactile quality Bob Rizzo’s “warrior” enforces in a dramatic and almost theatrical way.

Constructed from hundreds of found objects, Rizzo’s work belongs to a series of sculptures he calls “totems.” The term alludes to the realm of the primordial. It conjures images of an archaic, mythic past which he thinks we seem to have left behind but which still haunts us. Rizzo does not aim to rework the figure’s history but, rather, indulges in the colonial imagery of nkisi, most prominently, the image of nkisi as an object coming from the “heart of darkness.” In other words, The Warrior addresses the power of the fetish.

—Peter Probst, Professor of African Art and Visual Culture, Global Flows, Tufts University (2012)

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