Onyx V. Crimbil

Creating works of fantastic, magical, and spiritual art in bronze using the lost-wax casting process, self-taught artist Onyx V. Crimbil brings shape to stories and mythology that have been told for millennia.

I am just a craftsman in an ancient art-form. Using my life-experience as a prism of perception and synergizing different sources of inspiration with passion for creation, I bring fresh perspective to these venerable materials and memes.

My goal is to strike a chord in the viewer – to spark flashes of rapport and shared-understanding that encourage you to pause… to see and experience in a new way.

Please visit my website www.onyxvcrimbil.com for more information and alternate images of the pieces.


Neteru: Gods of Ancient Egypt


The deities of ancient Egypt, or neteru (sing. neter), were the core of ancient Egyptian religion and culture for over 3000 years, a scope of time nearly inconceivable to our modern sensibilities. The only other human culture with a plausible claim to such persistence of belief would be the Jainism and Hinduism of India.

For the ancient Egyptians the core concept, around which all of their beliefs orbited, was that of balance or ma'at, personified as a goddess who regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, and who set the order of the universe from the moment of creation. Despite their diverse functions, most neteru had an overarching role in common: maintaining ma’at - those that did not share this goal represented disruption and chaos, constantly threatening to annihilate the order of the universe.

The roles of each deity were fluid, and each god could expand their nature to take on new characteristics as the culture shifted over time, and the prominence of locations and their patron deities evolved. Neteru were syncretized or sub-divided to reflect changing beliefs; a god could be called the ba (an aspect of the soul) of another, or two or more deities could be joined into one god with a combined name and iconography. Local lesser gods were linked with greater ones, and deities with similar functions were combined, or sometimes supplanted each other in preeminence - for instance, there are a number of distinct neter that lay claim to the title “Creator of the World”. As a result, gods' roles are difficult to categorize or define, but despite their flexibility, the gods had limited abilities and spheres of influence, and did not exhibit omnipotence or omniscience.

The neteru were considered to be immanent; moving from the divine realm to dwell in their temples where they inhabited their cult statues allowing mortals to nourish them through the presentation of offerings, sacrifices, spells and rituals. These offerings, in addition to maintaining ma’at for the gods, celebrated deities' life-giving generosity and encouraged them to remain benevolent rather than vengeful. Rituals for a neter were often based in that deity's mythology, and as such the rituals were meant to be repetitions of the events of the mythic past, renewing the beneficial effects of the original events. In this manner the worshipers provided the gods with ma’at so they could continue to perform their vital functions, empowering them with the fundamental power of heka (magic) to maintain ma’at in the cosmos and sustaining all living things.

In conjunction with these day-to-day immanent roles, the collected mythological stories of the ancient Egyptians told the tales of the gods' actions during a mythic prehistory when the gods walked in material form on earth and interacted directly with mortals. Although many of these myths contain seemingly contradictory ideas, each expresses a particular perspective on divine events and they are rife with symbolic meaning. The contradictions in myth are as much a part of the Egyptians' many-faceted approach to religious belief as they are a reflection of the millennia over which they were told, retold and interpreted – testament to their comfort with a "multiplicity of approaches" to understanding the divine.

In myth, the neteru behave much like humans: they feel emotion; they can eat, drink, fight, fuck, weep, sicken, and die. Some have unique character traits or flaws: Ra, the sun god, is pompous and self-important; Set, god of chaos and the desert, is aggressive and impulsive; Thoth, patron of writing and knowledge, is prone to long-winded speeches; Isis, goddess of motherhood and magic, is crafty, poisoning the superior god Ra and refusing to cure him until he reveals his secret name to her, thus granting her and her son, Horus, greater knowledge and power.

Egyptian writings describe the gods' bodies in detail - they are composed of precious materials; their flesh is gold, their bones silver, and their hair made of lapis lazuli, and they emit a scent that the Egyptians likened to the incense used in rituals. Some texts give precise descriptions of particular deities, including their height and eye color, yet these characteristics are not fixed; in myths, gods change their appearances to suit their own purposes. The Egyptians' visual representations of their gods are therefore not literal. They symbolize specific aspects of each deity's character, functioning much like the ideograms in hieroglyphic writing. For this reason, the funerary god Anubis is commonly shown in Egyptian art as a dog or jackal, a creature whose scavenging habits threaten the preservation of buried mummies: an effort to counter this threat and employ it for protection. His black coloring alludes to the color of mummified flesh as well as to the fertile black soil that Egyptians saw as a symbol of resurrection.

In this series, I have translated my attraction to these deities into forms that play upon elements of the ancient Egyptian artistic canon while infusing personality (ba) & spirit (ka) into them in a manner that, I hope, will bring them to life for the viewer…

Each sculpture is available in one of two different color palates: one Black with Gold Leaf counter-point, the other using Colored Patinas to reflect the traditional pigments used in portraying the neter in ancient Egyptian tomb wall-paintings, also with Gold Leaf accents.

Anubis, 2014 “Anubis, 2014”

Guardian and Protector of the Dead; Patron of Lost Souls and Orphans; Patron of Funeral Rites and Mummification.

As the “Guardian of the Scales,” he was a psychopomp* who ushered the souls of the newly dead into the afterlife where, in the hall of Ma´at, he performed the “Weighing of the Heart” to assess the worthiness of those souls to join the Blessed in the Underworld.

Here Anubis, portrayed as both guardian and judge, is holding an ankh, also known as breath of life, or the key of the Nile, which represents the concept of eternal life.

* literally meaning the 'guide of souls', psychopomps are supernatural creatures whose responsibility is to collect and escort newly deceased souls and provide safe passage from earth to the afterlife.

Bronze with Gold Leaf Accents
7 in (l) x 7 in (w) x 19 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Ptah, 2014 “Ptah, 2014”

The demiurge* of the Memphis Creation Myth; Patron of the Arts; Protector of Craftsmen, Stonecutters, Metalworkers and Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Shipbuilders, Sculptors, Painters & Architects (and Software Engineers).

Here Ptah is portrayed in a traditional pose holding his scepter incorporating three powerful symbols of ancient Egyptian religion: the was scepter, symbol of power or dominion; the ankh, which represents the concept of eternal life; and the djed pillar, representing stability. He stands upon a plinth in the form of the hieroglyphic symbol used to write the name of Ma´at, the goddess of order or justice, and is the same shape as a tool used by stonemasons and architects to form a straight edge.

* an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe.

Bronze with Gold Leaf Accents
7 in (l) x 5 ½ in (w) x 20 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Ra, 2015 “Ra, 2015”

The Sun God of Ancient Egypt, representing light, warmth, and growth. King and Father of the Gods, Ra was the ruler of all parts of the created world: the sky, the earth, and the underworld, and the Patron of the Pharaoh.

Ra, as the sun disc, was thought to be borne across the sky on a solar boat traveling through the waters of heaven on his daily journey through the earthly sky and the Duat (the literal underworld of Egypt). It was believed that Ra “died” or was swallowed by the sky goddess Nut every evening as the sun dipped below the horizon. He then travelled through the world of the dead by night and was reborn in the morning (making Nut both his granddaughter and his mother); thus attributing the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his role as a creator god as well.

Here Ra is portrayed standing in his solar boat Mandjet (the Boat of Millions of Years), bearing the sun globe in his hand across the sky.

Bronze with Gold Leaf Accents
33 in (l) x 10 in (w) x 22 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Thoth, 2014 (front) “Thoth, 2014 (front)”

God of Wisdom; Patron of Scribes and the Written Word; credited with the invention of Writing and Hieroglyphs, Medicine, Science, Philosophy and Magic.

As the “Scribe of the Company of the Gods” he was maintainer of the universe and overseer of time and seasons, who was said to allot fixed lifespans to both humans and gods.

Thoth is portrayed here in the traditional pose of an Egyptian scribe, surrounded by the tools of his trade. At his back sits his baboon aspect, Astennu, who weaves a spell from the rising incense smoke, invoking the Eye of Ra -– a most potent symbol of power & protection.

Bronze with Gold Leaf Accents
11 ½ in (l) x 9 ½ in (w) x 12 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Thoth, 2014 (rear) “Thoth, 2014 (rear)”

God of Wisdom; Patron of Scribes and the Written Word; credited with the invention of Writing and Hieroglyphs, Medicine, Science, Philosophy and Magic.

As the “Scribe of the Company of the Gods” he was maintainer of the universe and overseer of time and seasons, who was said to allot fixed lifespans to both humans and gods.

Thoth is portrayed here in the traditional pose of an Egyptian scribe, surrounded by the tools of his trade. At his back sits his baboon aspect, Astennu, who weaves a spell from the rising incense smoke, invoking the Eye of Ra -– a most potent symbol of power & protection.

Bronze with Gold Leaf Accents
11 ½ in (l) x 9 ½ in (w) x 12 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Satyrs: Blithe Spirits of the Wilde


In Greek mythology, Satyrs are part of the troop of ithyphallic male companions of the gods Dionysus and Pan, who roamed the woods and mountains as part of the thiasos (the ecstatic retinue of Dionysus, often pictured as inebriated revelers).

The satyrs’ chief was Silenus, a minor deity associated (like Pan, Dionysus, Hermes and Priapus) with fertility, who was also the tutor of the young Dionysus. They sport goat-like (caprine) or horse-like (equine) features, including a tail, elongated ears, and sometimes a permanently erect phallus, and are depicted as being strongly built with long curly hair and full beards, with wreaths of vine or ivy circling their heads. Satyrs often carry the thyrsus: the rod symbolic of Dionysus, which is wrapped with ivy and tipped with a pine cone.
Similar beings, called Fauns, exist in Roman Mythology; where they are portrayed with human head and torsos and goat-like from the haunches to the hooves. Greek satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman conflation with the Faun, as Greek-speaking Romans often used the Greek term saturos when referring to the Latin faunus, eventually resulting in the syncretization of the two types of beings. Mature satyrs are often depicted in Roman art with goat’s horns (and sometimes even ram’s horns), while juveniles are shown with bony nubs on their foreheads.
Carefree Italic nature-spirits Fauns were conflated in the popular and poetic imagination with Latin spirits of woodland and with the rustic Greek god Pan. They are alternately bawdy and innocent, gentle and fearsome, and represent a deep connection with nature in all its untrammeled aspects: with the brutal instincts necessary to defend against threats, and fully capable of surviving without the benefits of civilization.
As Dionysian creatures they are lovers of wine and inebriation, and are eager for every hedonistic pleasure. Because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding wine cups, and they appear often in the decorations on wine cups. In myths they are often associated with music, and are said to roam field and hill to the music of aulos reedpipes (auloi [Ancient Greek] or tibia [Latin]), the syrinx, cymbals, castanets, tympanum (a type of frame drum or tambourine), and askaulos (a type of bagpipe).
These beings can be found in the only complete remaining satyr play, Cyclops, by Euripides, and the fragments of Sophocles’ Ichneutae (Tracking Satyrs). The satyr play was a short, lighthearted tailpiece performed after each trilogy of tragedies in Athenian festivals honoring Dionysus, which burlesqued the serious events of the mythic past with lewd pantomime and subversive mockery.

Drink Deep of Life!, 2016 “Drink Deep of Life!, 2016”

As Dionysian creatures, Satyrs are eager for every hedonistic pleasure and are often represented inebriated, clasping wine cups as well as the various vessels and paraphernalia the ancient Greeks and Romans utilized for the preparation and serving of wine.

The fore satyr in this pair, the Amphorae Bearer, suggestively offers the viewer a kylix (Ancient Greek: κύλιξ, pl. κύλικες), a common type of wine-drinking cup, while he balances an open amphorae (Ancient Greek: ἀμφορεύς) on his other shoulder.

His crony, the Carouser, who is already “deep in his cups” and none too steady on his hooves, drinks from a kantharos (Ancient Greek: κάνθαρος), a wine vessel symbolic of Dionysus, the god of the vine, and associated with his rites, rituals and the pouring of libations.

This piece is my homage to, and personal interpretation of, Zwei Satyrn (Two Satyrs) [1618-1619. Oil on canvas. 76 cm. x 66 cm.] by Peter Paul Rubens, a stunningly sensual Baroque work I first viewed as a college student in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and has captivated my imagination ever since.

12 in (l) x 11 in (w) x 22 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Force of Nature, 2016 “Force of Nature, 2016”

Locked in a passionate embrace and deep kiss, these two seem fully immersed in each other, and blissfully unaware of the viewer.

This piece is the first in a series which strives to capture the intensity and visceral beauty of passion, and expand the notion of what is wholesome. It seeks to normalize the marginal by placing the taboo squarely before the viewer – erasing shame and celebrating desire as an extension of the panoply of healthy human passion, affection and sexuality.

9 ½ in (l) x 9 ½ in (w) x 20 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs

Hellas: Gods & Heroes of Ancient Greece


Hellas is the name Greeks use for Greece (Ἑλλάς; modern pronunciation Ellas), and here refers to all lands inhabited by the Hellenes – all of Ancient Greece, including the Greek colonies.

This series features images of Ancient Greek Gods & Heroes, for whom my fascination dates back to early childhood. These entities and archetypes captured and held my attention and imagination with their visceral, earthy, and all together human follies and foibles in a way that the divine representatives of the transcendental spiritual paths of modern western thought never could.

As Sir Terry Pratchett so aptly puts it in his novel Reaper Man, 'They tend to do exactly the things people would do if only they could, especially when it comes to nymphs, golden showers, and the smiting of your enemies.'

Perseus, 2017 “Perseus, 2017”

The son of the mortal Danae and the god Zeus, Perseus was the legendary founder of Mycenae and one of the greatest Greek heroes and slayer of monsters before the days of Heracles. To fulfill a rash promise he was tasked by his mother’s nefarious suitor to search out and slay the gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned living flesh to stone.

17 in (l) x 17 in (w) x 30 in (h)
Limited Edition of 13 w. Artist’s Proofs
Work in Progress