Kent Monkman is Fabulous
I first heard of mixed-media artist Kent Monkman when visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario this summer, and was totally blown away. Kent Monkman, a Toronto-based artist of Cree ancestry, uses paint, performance, and video/film to challenge text book notions of Canadian history. His most well-known character and alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testikle, has been spotted all over Canada, studying the European Male and taking very close notes.
Stunning, vibrant, and sometimes shocking, Monkman’s work is essential to any good history lesson. His current exhibit House of Miss Chiefis taking place at Artspace in a small Ontarian city very dear to my heart, Peterborough, who was also lucky enough to host Monkman’s traveling interactive piece Captured: Portraiture and the Permanent Collection, where guests were invited to dress up in cotume and pose for “period” photographs. The exhibit challenges and “redefines the roles, assumptions and politics of traditional portraiture by relating them to the narratives of contemporary artists.” (source). I was lucky enough to attend the event, see some of Monkman’s films, and become an avid fan.
To see more of Kent Monkman’s work, you can visit his website, www.kentmonkman.com, or check out his amazing film project, a collaboration with Gisèle Gordon, at www.urbannation.com.