Show Preview | Nocona Burgess

Santa Fe, NM
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, August 18-September 1

Nocona Burgess, Kicks Iron in Warbonnet, acrylic, 30 x 40.

Nocona Burgess, Kicks Iron in Warbonnet, acrylic, 30 x 40.

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

To Native American painter Nocona Burgess, the eagle is a symbol of power and strength. Its feathers grace warbonnets, shields, swords, and are often worn in people’s hair. The bird is celebrated across Burgess’ culture and around the world. Yet, for many, it is a stereotypical trope that is often abused by contemporary fashion and culture. Burgess examines the eagle and its place in Native culture in his newest solo show at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art this month, titled The Power of the Eagle. The show opens with an artist’s reception on Friday, August 18, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Burgess’ contemporary portraits of Native people often incorporate bright colors and textures that seem to pull the people out from the historical photographs he references. He says that while looking through photos of different tribes across the country, he noticed a common factor in eagle feathers. “The discussion will be about what it means cross-culturally that somewhere along the way someone saw the eagle as this same symbol of power,” Burgess says.

This show is the artist’s fifth with the gallery and includes up to 20 pieces. Burgess’ usual large portraits hang alongside other works that show warbonnets and shields alone, rather than being worn or held by someone. “That’s the symbol of the Plains Indians, even in the stereo-typical way people think of them around the world,” Burgess says of the warbonnets. “This is the ‘it’ symbol, and I really want to focus on that.”

Burgess hosts a private reception at his home and studio where the pieces are on display and available for sale prior to the opening at the gallery. Collectors interested in attending the reception may RSVP through the gallery.

Burgess’ guiding philosophy behind his art is to bring American Indians out of the myths that are often created around them. “I want to keep telling their stories because they were real human beings that existed, or exist now,” he says. “The appeal is that they are painted in this contemporary style that catches people in a different way.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.986.1156
www.giacobbefritz.com

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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