Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reality check. Check, check, is this thing on? (PNSFW)

Real Native Art

     This is, of course, one of my personal favorites by Bunky Echohawk, a Pawnee-Yakama artist, who was good-natured enough to let me feature his work on my blog. As a show of appreciation we should all hit him up for  some prints, or ask him to paint your stairwell at:

     As an art school dropout and a nerd for all things Indigenous, I've been aware of Bunky's work for a while, since Myspace, even!  

      Much of his work reflects the collision of tradition and pop-culture along with the political landscape in Indian Country.   His expressive brushstrokes convey a sense urgency to his paintings.  Meanwhile, his brazen use of over saturated colors invokes memories of old, technicolor cartoons.

Downwind From Hanford by Bunky Echo-Hawk
     Bunky gives back to the community as the co-founder of NVision, a nonprofit collective of Native American artists,  musicians, community organizers, and nonprofit  professionals who focus on Native American  youth empowerment through multimedia arts.  

     Recently, Bunky became a design consultant for the Nike's N7 line.

Artist Bunky Echo-Hawk

Fake "Native Inspired" Art

This a famous Lee Bogle piece who says, "I try to convey a spirituality in my art that the viewer must interpret for himself." 
     Alrighty, then he goes on to say, "I want my paintings to show peaceful contemplation and express a depth of serenity that comes only with quiet inner peace." 
     Uh-huh, quotes like that leave me to wonder, has he ever met any Native Americans?  Quiet?  Really? Since when?
     Lee Bogle  is a former teacher and I do have lot of respect for teachers.  His work is technically good, however it lacks cultural understanding.  
     Look at the couple.  He just as easily could painted a caucasian couple holding a quilt or a cat.  That would have been a harder sell, though, because apparently there is no implied spiritually with white people.

Artist Lee Bogle
     There is no mention on Mr. Bogle's website of him having indigenous heritage.  Honestly, that's not what bothers me.  What irks me is that he is most known for his painting of Native Americans, but there is no mention of what he does to contribute to the Native community.

     I'm not going to say it is wrong for Non-Natives to paint Natives, however there needs to be a certain level of respect and understanding for the subject.  What's wrong with painting indigenous people as they are?


  1. I suggest that the couple is fixing to shag. It has to be before else they'd have lost those feathers.

  2. I think one big difference is that the real artist doesn't use the overly erotic themes. Not that there's anything wrong with indigenous artists using erotic themes, but that Bogle picture is borderline pornography. At the very least its only purpose is to give white people fetish fuel. (There's a trope for that!)

  3. Heloo ,how much is that picture?thank you

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