Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gallery Artist Jeff Thomas's 'Bear Portraits' Documents Three Decades of His Son from a Child to a Grown Member of Juno Award Winning Electronic Band A Tribe Called Red

Plate 16. Griffito, Culture Revolution, 2012 © Jeff Thomas / 
Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery

Krystina Mierins of the National Post looks at gallery artist Jeff Thomas's "Bear Portraits" over the past three decades. These portraits are a series of Jeff's son, now a member of Juno Award winning electric band A Tribe Called Red, and how both men's practices have parallel themes and how they have learned from each other.

"For the past three decades, First Nations artist Thomas, now 59, has been photographing his son, now DJ Bear Witness of Juno Award winning electronic band A Tribe Called Red. Although the Bear Portraits span many years, it is not an extensive series, and Thomas says making them has usually been spontaneous. These portraits are part of the artist’s exploration of what it means to be indigenous. Thomas self-identifies as “urban-Iroquois,” a term he coined to recognize his experience growing up in cities rather than on reserves."

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