Pin It

Kent Monkman triumphs 

The Toronto-based Cree artist creates reversed colonial fairy tales with fun, sexual undertones.

The saloon music that plays from video installations as you enter Kent Monkman's exhibition is deceiving---the collection of his work from 2003 to today betrays anything you'd see in an old western. Romantic, mountainous landscape paintings depict scenes of 19th-century "cowboy and Indian" role reversals, with Aboriginals assuming lead roles and the central figure often appearing as a cross-dressing male; the periodic portraits hanging on the wall are actually of Monkman's scantily clad drag alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle (pictured above); the performance videos that play are dressed up as old westerns, but in these cases the "Indian" shoots the "cowboy." Toronto-based Monkman is of Cree ancestry, and his work rethinks colonial history in a sexual, fun way while still hitting political sensitivities---his 2007 exhibition, Shapeshifters, Time Travellers, and Storytellers, was banned from the Royal Ontario Museum because it attracted too much negative attention, which Monkman responds to with a filmed drag show of himself that loops in the gallery. Birch bark Louis Vuitton bags are just a hint of Monkman's ironic genius---you have until the end of November to discover the rest on your own.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Holly Gordon

Survey Asks

What song best represents your relationship status right now?

  • "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under," Shania Twain
  • "Be Careful," Cardi B
  • "I Don't Need A Man," The Pussycat Dolls
  • "I Touch Myself," Divinyls
  • "No Small Talk," Kari Faux
  • "7 rings," Arianna Grande
  • "Mambo no. 5," Lou Bega
  • "Good As Hell," Lizzo

View Results

In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 38
February 14, 2019

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2019 Coast Publishing Ltd.