Photograph by artist Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Photograph ed/12. Framed.
28″ x 22″ (71 x 56cm)
Rande Cook (b. 1977) is a Kwakwaka’wakw multimedia artist born in culture-rich Alert Bay. Surrounded by the beauty of the land and art, he found his passion for artistic creativity at an early age as he studied traditional jewellery and carving techniques under several master craftsmen including carver John Livingston (1951-2019). In 1991, Cook moved to Victoria where he was exposed to a wide range of art forms and practices from the Western tradition. With his unique accumulation of heritage, knowledge, and experience, Cook continually pushes boundaries to create beautiful and provocative works that challenge audiences to reconsider the role of traditional techniques for contemporary art-making.
In 2015 and 2016, Cook held the Audain Professorship of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest with the Visual Arts department at the University of Victoria.
“I thought I would use the word “Indian” in the title of this work because those who I know from small reserves still refer to ourselves as Indians. In this joking way we laugh and say “Hey Indian” as a greeting. This is the Louis Vuitton mask in Times Square, a symbol of fast-paced power and referred to as the world’s capital and the New Rome. I liked that feeling of being a small Indian in this new world, hiding behind a symbol of wealth, because I can remove the mask at any time and still be just me, an Indian!"
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