This artist, renowned in the northern plains of his origin, and internationally, grew up on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
He is an enrolled member of the Itazipco Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is also Onondaga/Iroquois on his Mother’s side.
He says,”I have been immersed in the Arts of my ancestors since I was a young boy. My grandmother Annie Yellowhawk was a traditional beadworker and role model for traditional ways, and my father Jerry Yellowhawk was and is a passionate artist in a variety of mediums.”
He blends his reverence for tradition, and traditional ways, with his art education-fueled experimentation with innovative mediums, as here.
This work is powerful, yet small enough to display on a table easel.
A miniature ledger artwork, of the artist’s, is mounted on the palm of a vivid turquoise handprint, painted on a larger canvas that is dramatically black, otherwise.
The numeral 1 is superimposed on the little finger of the handprint, in glittering, silver metallic paint.
A warrior on horseback gallops across the ledger picture, with a huge sun, surrounded by feathers, instead of rays.
The hand refers to the Plains custom of Counting Coup: if a warrior touched his enemy, without harm to either, he was honored with a handprint painted on his horse, regalia, etc. Presumably, this is the warrior’s first coup.
Small in size, but major in impact, this mixed media piece is a sophisticated, modern twist on Plains tradition.
A very effective work of art, by a well-known artist.