We will explore the art of Remington, whose art embodies the myth of the West. His origins on the east coast and at Yale will be of special interest to the students. Many of our images of the West and of cowboys come from him. Looking into Remington's motivation for his images will explain the why's of his art and enable the class to uncover the truth behind the images. We will also explore Alex Nemerov's views on Remington.
I will also explore art found in Lucy Lippard's book of multicultural art called
. The pieces I will use are mostly Native American art, not because I don't want to focus on Latino art, but because I teach a separate unit on Latino art. I will show Jane Ash Poitras'
, which deals with Native education; Jesse Cooday's
shows he paints the traditional mask in red, white, and blue - American colors; Ernie Pepion's
The Sun Dancer
shows himself stepping out of his wheelchair. He says he experienced discrimination for living on a reservation and relates that discrimination to that which he feels for being paralyzed. Lance Belanger's
The Good Doctor's Bedside Manner
displays a true account of a horrible doctor who actually sewed up a Native American woman using beaded stitches.
They're Going to Dump It Where?!?
, by Jean LaMarr, creates a modern Native American woman as a symbol of resistance. Frank Bigbear Jr. created a beautiful piece called
, which is a group of images that mixes battles of the Native American with modern societal items. It is amazing. David Avalos'
comments on the notion of wilderness and frontier. He focuses on the myth of the West. Victor Orozco Ochoa's
is a colorful mural, which combines many culturally significant symbols.
I will focus also on the work of James Luna. He did an installation piece at the Museum of Man in San Diego. He drugged himself and put himself on display in a showcase. He had some of his belongings on display also. He labeled himself and his objects just like artifacts are labeled in a museum. This is such a relevant demonstration, because American history has shown us that our society breaks down other cultures and then tries to keep the cultures alive in museums. But it is only after these cultures are no longer a threat can we appreciate and value them. Luna's work exemplifies this historical problem. America has put the Native American artifacts in museums thinking that Native Americans wouldn't still be around, but thankfully this is not the case.