American Indian comic-style art exhibit in N.M.
The following is a press release from New Mexico’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. For more information, visit www.indianartsandculture.org.
Santa Fe, NM — Storytelling has long been a part of Native American culture. Comic Art Indigène which opens at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on May 11, 2008 looks at how storytelling has been used through comics and comic inspired art to express the contemporary Native American experience. Under the larger definition of narrative art, comic art is more related to Native American art traditions than one might expect. The earliest surviving examples of such narrative art is rock art. The historic examples used in the exhibition, such as photographs of rock art, ledger art, and ceramics are meant to link Native American art traditions with contemporary voices.
Making comics and producing art inspired by them is a method of reclaiming the narrative art form of comics and Native American culture from those who would dismiss an art for the masses. Today, Native American artists are reclaiming stereotypes used in earlier comic art depicting Indians as savage, war-like primitives or trusty sidekicks.
The exhibition begins with a photograph of a cartoon from the 13th century. The image of the red, white and blue pictograph of the All American Man, a shield carrying warrior from the Pueblo II period (carbon dated to ca. 1290) will be contrasted to a Jack Kirby drawing of that other red, white and blue shield hurling hero, Captain America. The most recent works will be from 2008. The majority of Indian art will be from 1990 to the present day.
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