Cultures Clash and Commingle in 'Make It Pop' at All My Relations Gallery

Cultures Clash and Commingle in 'Make It Pop' at All My Relations Gallery

By: 
ICTMN Staff
3/27/13

"Make It Pop," an exhibition currently showing at the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, is one of the most impressive assemblies of contemporary Native art in recent memory.

The unifying principle of the works selected is that they all comment on the Native experience and mainstream American media -- and we've had no shortage of source material in recent times. As Frank Buffalo Hyde, one of the artists in the show, remarked to Minnesota Public Radio, "At no other time in history have [Natives] been so well equipped and educated, and so willing to fight these derogatory attacks on our images. So No Doubt removed their video and Urban Outfitters is still in court. This conflict of idea versus ideals can only be won when we own our own image. So we are and we do."

Hyde's "In-Appropriate" paintings skewer the No Doubt episode and model Karlie Kloss, who wore a flowing feather headdress in the most recent Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Cannupa Hanska Luger also takes up the issue of white girls in headdresses with his "Stereotype: The Barrymore," a recreation of a boombox wearing a chicken-feather headpiece, inspired by a much-circulated photo of Drew Barrymore wearing one. Pat Pruitt's "Wampum Belt," a belt decorated with dice and casino chips, represents "the good and bad of Indian gaming," he said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Perhaps the most universally appealing piece is one of the simplest: Jodi Webster's "Wabanaki Lakeside Chicago -- Beyond Swag," a portrait of a young boy wearing regalia overtop a Chicago Bulls jersey that was selected for the exhibition's poster. "It's just so real," curator Dyani White Hawk Polk told Minneapolis Public Radio. "Those are our kids -- they've got both going on. Their everyday love of the Chicago Bulls and contemporary fashion, and then they've got their participation in cultural events. Often you'll see kids on break from a powwow, and they'll have half their Regalia on with a hoodie thrown over it - that's just how it is. It's not one thing or another."

The 12 artists whose work is on display are Heidi Brandow, Frank Buffalo Hyde, Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano, Jason Garcia, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Doug Miles, Pat Pruitt, Rose Simpson, Jodi Webster, and Micah Wesley. All My Relations Gallery is located at 1414 East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. For more information, visit allmyrelationsarts.com or call (612) 235-4970.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
steal history, steal culture, and we suppose to love it...tell us our history is not relevant, but white wash it...and we suppose to be proud of what they teach...as long as they look good and we back them its okay but it is not...its not their right...
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
steal history, steal culture, and we suppose to love it...tell us our history is not relevant, but white wash it...and we suppose to be proud of what they teach...as long as they look good and we back them its okay but it is not...its not their right...
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
With Frank Buffalo Hyde's paintings of Gwen Stefani and the Victoria's Secret model I wonder what more he could have done with the images than merely repainting them? They don't seem very thought provoking other than being redone by Native hands, which I understand the complexity of reclaiming these images (appropriating these appropriations, contemporary existence, the colors parodying the ridiculousness of these people who think they have the right to wear these symbols), but these paintings don't go much farther beyond the surface. Which I've seen many times elsewhere - the amateur Native artist taking pop culture icons, adding some feathers, and bright colors and calling it brilliant and people fangirling also thinking it's brilliant. I find Cannupa Hanska Luger's and Jodi Webster's work much more interesting.

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