KENT MONKMAN "COWBOY & INDIAN" DRAWING, 2001
Kent Monkman (b.1965) is a Canadian First Nations artist of Cree ancestry. Over the last 15 years, Monkman has developed an aesthetic that hijacks the landscapes and pictorial scenes (reminiscent of the Hudson River School, Cornelius Krieghoff or Paul Kane) adding a homoerotic revisionist anarchy to Canadian colonial images. Today he is known as one of Canada's most internationally acclaimed and notorious multidisciplinary artists.
If you're familiar with Kent Monkman's work it will come as no surprise that Monkman's art education originated with illustration.
Monkman bravely pursued figuration, and established his distinct and intricate figurative style, at a time when representational art was not exactly in vogue.
Prior to executing one of his large scale paintings, Monkman will create precise preparatory drawings.
As most of his canvases are in major public collections, such works on paper, like this are highly sought-after.
This drawing showcases Monkman's signature area of exploration: the relationship between colonizer and colonized. Monkman frequently employs the cowboy archetype, often to represent the power of the West. Although here, the cowboy (or West) is being dominated by an Indigenous man in a sexual, homoerotic clinch.
Monkman's appropriation and subversion of history refuses the traditional erasure of Indigenous and queer people.
The National Gallery of Canada, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian are just a few of the institutions that have Monkman's work in their permanent collection.
Additional images available on request. Questions about this piece?
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Untitled ("Cowboy & Indian")
Signed and dated by the artist
Graphite on paper
16.25"H 14.25"W (framed)
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