Contemporary Native American Art
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Contemporary Native American Art
Native American art is typically viewed via a narrow scope or time warp. Pottery, dolls, carvings, blankets, beads, feathers, sand paintings, ritual dancing....Hip Hop, graffiti, filmmaking, Intuit Break Dancing, indigenous-language hip hop and video, Indian bling and urban wear do not make the list. My research on Contemporary Art Practices for the Artistic Development class has been on how the roots of hip hop culture and music have been transformed by indigenous cultures and identities into new forms of visual culture and music that echo the realities of Aboriginal people. Check it out.
Curated by Daniel Brooks
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INSIDE OUT - Lakota Project

INSIDE OUT - Lakota Project | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
A Native American Lakota tribe participated in the Inside Out Project thanks to their Group Leader DJ Two Bears. They organized a Group Action on their reservation, in North Dakota, in May 2011.
Daniel Brooks's insight:

This is the Oglala Lakota portion of French street artist, JR's global project called INSIDE OUT.  

 

Images have been placed in the urban landscape of New York, New York. The juxtaposition of the Native images, complete with war paint (albeit on modern tribal members), with the seemingly endless cityscape is striking.  It's hard to reconcile the two images as one all but snuffed out the life of the other.  

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One Man’s Trash is Brian Jungen's Treasure

One Man’s Trash is Brian Jungen's Treasure | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Transforming everyday items into Native American artwork, Jungen bridges the gap between indigenous and mass cultures
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INSIDE OUT PROJECT - TED TALK 2012

JR's TED Talk one year after the birth of the INSIDE OUT project. Discours de JR à TED un an après le lancement du projet INSIDE OUT.
Daniel Brooks's insight:

The artist (JR) asks people from around the world to take photos of themselves in a way they wish to be seen.  They send the photos to JR, he then prints them at poster size and returns them with instructions on how to display them in their environment/community.

 

The majority of the participants in this work are under represented community members who are largely hidden from mainstream view or participation. The stark display of the deeply emotional human faces displayed in promenient fashion in their local community makes this work successful by giving a voice to the voiceless.  

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Native American Super Heroes - Jeffery Veregge

Native American Super Heroes - Jeffery Veregge | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Another body of work from Jeffrey Veregge.  This work shows his connections to a world of Comics, Sci-Fi & Toys and how he expresses this through his art.

 

These Super Hero illustrations are done in what I recognize as Coastal Native style or Haika.  the roots of "Marvel or DC" culture have been transforme by indigenous cultures and identities into a new form of visual culture.


Simple and iconic in form.  

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Out of controversy comes Paul Frank-Native designer collaboration

Out of controversy comes Paul Frank-Native designer collaboration | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Paul Frank Industries collaborates with four Native American fashion designers after "powwow-themed" party.
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But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress?

But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress? | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
(image from http://www.facebook.com/iamhowlingwolf, which is an entire post in itself. geez.) I’ve posted a lot about the phenomenon that is the hipster headdress (see here, here, and here), ...
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Mitchell Museum exhibit digs deep into modern Native art

Mitchell Museum exhibit digs deep into modern Native art | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
A major new temporary exhibition at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston offers a sweeping survey of regional styles and trends in modern Native American art while tracing its evolution from ancient times to the present day.
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074 - Haida Study

Haida Exploration and Project Development
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Joshua Smith is not a Native American but has put forth an earnest effort in this Haida study.  Usually I see "outsiders" versions on indigenous art as glib and contrived, missing an essence.  These are modern and have brought in new, non-traditional motifs to the genre.  He has also done some very interesting calligraphy studies on Arabic fonts.

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Corey Bulpitt | Artists | Beat Nation – Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture

Corey Bulpitt | Artists | Beat Nation – Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
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A Navajo Tapestry Made of Angry Birds and 57,000 LEGO Bricks

A Navajo Tapestry Made of Angry Birds and 57,000 LEGO Bricks | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Watch as a LEGO artist brings a Navajo weaver's work to life—shiny, plastic life.
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A Thunder-Being Nation | A Pine Ridge Indian Reservation documentary

A Thunder-Being Nation | A Pine Ridge Indian Reservation documentary | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Daniel Brooks's insight:

"This entire reservation is a prisoner of war camp and we are treated as such." - This quote from the documentary sums up the emotional content of the film quickly.  If not emtional, then the essence of life on an indian reservation. The film explores the history and contemporary life of the Oglala Lakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It covers the short life expectancy, rampant suicide and extreme family homelessness.

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Native Design Playing Cards - Trickster Company

Native Design Playing Cards - Trickster Company | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Trickster Company, A skateboard and design company for the Indigenous Northwest Coast.
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Contemporary graphic designs on using traditional playing cards and a modern twist on traditional Haida art forms.  Trickster is a design company "for" the Indigeneous Northwest Coast.  

 

Predominantly a skateboard design company, they have hit on something poetic, if you'll forgive the word, with these playing cards.  The origins of playing cards are in China but quickly spread and incur heavy design changes across Europe.  The traditional deck or set is steeped in symbolism from religious, mystical, or astrological fields.  I don't have the knowledge of Indigeneous Northwest Coastal tribes to verify if the animals and other symbology is consistent with a Monarchy or the leadership structure of a traditional or modern tribe.

 

The connections to historical Euro-centric use or modern political positions over gaming rights on reservations are present but will not discuss those at this time.  The issue is too delicate to limit.  

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Old School - Jeffrey Veregge

Old School - Jeffrey Veregge | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Daniel Brooks's insight:

I have had the fortune to see his work in person at Emerald City Comic Convention and while the majority of his work is steeped in comic iconography, I believe these are Jeffrey's more successful works.  You really need to explore his website for the full scope.  

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American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL): Bunky Echo-Hawk, Bunky Echo-Hawk, and, Bunky Echo-Hawk

American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL): Bunky Echo-Hawk, Bunky Echo-Hawk, and, Bunky Echo-Hawk | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Bunky Echo-Hawk's work is about identity.  Indigeneous peoples grow up in this country experiencing a duality of two worlds.  Though comon to us all is the experience of juxtaposing culture and identity.

 

While indigenous experiences may be foriegn and inaccessible to outsiders, as artists, the desire to discover or reveal our identity and the desire to share that with the world is common ground.

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Bill Reid Gallery - Current Exhibition

Bill Reid Gallery - Current Exhibition | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Bill Reid Gallery
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Bill Reid died in 1998. However, he was a great force in introducing to the world the art traditions of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. His legacies include infusing that tradition with modern ideas and forms of expression, influencing emerging artists, and building lasting bridges between First Nations and other peoples.

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'Beat Nation' Brings Skateboard and Hip Hop Culture to the Vancouver Art Gallery

'Beat Nation' Brings Skateboard and Hip Hop Culture to the Vancouver Art Gallery | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
The Beat Nation show brings together a diverse group of aboriginal artists in Vancouver.
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Rose Simpson | Artists | Beat Nation – Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture

Rose Simpson | Artists | Beat Nation – Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture | Contemporary Native American Art | Scoop.it
Daniel Brooks's insight:

Rose Simpson says she's "Un-learning my conventionalized existence..." and using her own "sonar" and processing measured reactions as a movement towards self-expression.  Merging Hip Hop culture (from another oft missrepresented group) serves both as a vehicle for her (given her modern environment) art and a way for others (non-Native peoples) to access the messages.

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