February 13, 2012

In Chilkat Times: New Mixed Media Canvases by Ian Reid

In the early 20th century, photographer Edward Curtis published a series of photographs titled 'The North American Indian' in what he considered an attempt to preserve traditional North American Native cultures. Most of these photos were staged, and in effect, Curtis was actually appropriating Native cultures.

Today, Heiltsuk artist
Ian Reid has used Curtis' images to create his own mixed media canvases detailed with his own designs in acrylic paint. In these re-worked images, Ian reinterprets Native identity by treating the well-known historical portraits with touches of his distinctive painting. As statements on colonial influence and the continuum of Northwest Coast artistic traditions, Ian’s works are both arresting and thought-provoking. These bright, captivating canvases are framed and range from $250.00 - $500.00 CAD each.

In the time of the ancestors, the first generation stories were so clear, and there was so much value in the teachings learned from those stories. There are still markings and images of those original teachings, and we see them and know them as pictographs. Many of the places with these markings were near old village sites and/or burial sites. These pictographs were used to show the people who traveled through the lineage and stories of the original occupants of the land. So, looking at the images of Edward S. Curtis brought me to these thoughts and resulted in my decision to embellish his photographs with my own pictographs, in the color of life, red.
- Ian Reid, Nusi

No comments: