“Incogitant Excogitator”
or, “Grate Minds Think Alike (...And Best
When Bellies Are Full)”

Sancho Panza, was the sidekick to Don Quixote in Cervante’s 1615 novel bearing the title of its protagonist. Don Quixote, was an impoverished minor landholder of lesser nobility who, enchanted through excessive chivalric readings, set off in a delusional quest to rescue his imagined fair maiden, Dulcinea. Sancho, his illiterate farmer neighbor whom he imagined as and promoted to his squire, followed him faithfully. His allegiance was principally based on loyalty and concern, though he was somewhat seduced by the Don’s promise, which he didn’t fully comprehend, of granting him governorship of an Insula (archaic for Island).
Sancho was a complex if not somewhat contradictory character. Cervantes introduced him as “a good man– if that title can be given to someone who is poor–but without much in the way of a brain.”* He was simple and a dupe, loyal to a fault, and his thought process seemed generally little more than a jumble of proverbs and cliche´s. Yet those same aphoristic quips,
which popularly endure yet today as Sanchismos, voiced a certain puzzled scepticism and provided guidelines for a bit of pragmatic wisdom.

The sculpture endeavors to show the light almost dawning betwixt his ears, the nearfruition of thought escaping the vacuum only to succumb to the maze of existing impediments to contemplation, —obedience and the mundane concerns of survival and food. ..Panza, incidentally, is Spanish for “belly.”
This sculpture of Sancho Panza was commissioned as a companion piece to a Don Quixote statue (a collaboration with Neil Cox of Canada) done some fourteen years earlier, and intentionally mimics much of the artistic license taken with the original. The model for Sancho was one J.P. who popped into my studio six months prior to commencement of the piece, saying, “You probably don’t remember me,” as if I’d forget the vicious grade school turkey who routinely terrorized kids and occasionally beat the snot out of ‘em just 45 years preceding. Video surveillance would later catch him augmenting his modeling compensation by swiping my just-filled gas can... guess he earned it.

The donkey was modelled from a photo of one transporting two refugee women in Chad, with its gait altered in imitation of a fanciful illustration by Jose Segrelles.

*From the 2003 translation by Edith Grossman, published by Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., .55.
Updated June 15, 2016