Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
I Like Kevin Red Star & I'm Not Afraid to Say It
When I was at the Denver Art Museum recently I was impressed by the interesting collection of contemporary Native American arts. Sure they had the antique pieces that you’d expect a multicultural museum to have & those were awesome, but the contemporary works had me most interested.
To be honest I’m not sure I could name a contemporary Native American painter before going there, which is pretty embarrassing & ridiculous. I saw a handful of artists whose work I liked, but I couldn’t find much information about them online.
Sonosilutoo is a print artist & she seems to have works in a few collections, but there are no images nor information about her online.
Reginald Peterson is a contemporary master carver & mask maker. His work at the museum is incredible, but again, I couldn’t find images of his work online, though I did find some references to him in a few books that I’m going to follow up on.
One artist who is pretty well represented online is the painter Kevin Red Star. Born in the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana, he’s something of an expressionist working in traditional Indian images of people. I love the way he takes these tropes of native American history & life & shifts them out of the precious realism into something more vibrant & evocative. The canvas I saw at the museum had a deep color to it, which was as much part of the meaning of it as the portrait of the woman in traditional dress.
Here’s a well meaning article about him for the non-artists crowd.
Here’s his website: www.kevinredstar.com