The Kiss. Pressing Issues.
The Kiss.

The Kiss.

(Oklahoma: c. late 20th century). Hacker, Paul. Colored pencil on original Oklahoma Territory ledger paper, signed by the artist. Paul Hacker, a Choctaw/Cherokee artist, here layers nostalgia with history, two approaches to memory too often bifurcated when reflecting on the injustices suffered by Native Americans. Hacker’s drawing of an indigenous man and woman locked in a swooning embrace recalls Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph “V-J Day in Times Square,” a longstanding icon of beauty in victory. The image’s innocence competes against the context of its sinister background; the ledger paper evokes the transactional and imperialistic aims of the expanding American Republic. Ledger art is traditionally a Plains Indian medium for narrative drawing or painting, and its most prominent artists were prisoners of war at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, FL. The Fort became a harsh military prison for indigenous warriors captured while fighting against the U.S. Army for their autonomy, and between 1875 and 1878, 71 men and one woman were held there, stripped of their Native identities, and given a “Western education.” Out of this tradition, Hacker’s piece can be viewed as a celebration of survival, a last rite for a demolished way of life, a clutching at small romantic good, and a challenge to revise the histories written by victors. Mounted, glazed, and in a historical frame. (26 1/2 by 31 in.). Item #30240

Price: $2,500.00