FIND ◊ YOURSELF ◊ MAGAZINE
FINE ◊ ARTS ◊ ISSUE
Welcome To Issue #2 of Find Yourself Magazine! Thanks for coming back faithful readers, and to any new readers out there we invite you to share this with your friends and family. We are excited to present you with our latest issue exploring Native artist this time. Each of them were gracious enough to contribute their time and energy, and I would first like to give a big thanks to each of them. We subjected them to a series of questions to get a feel for each individual. And if you like their work and would like to buy something for your personal collection, I have included their respective contact info at the bottom of this page. I would also like to thank Damian Webster and Elizabeth King for their help in bringing everyone together. Up and coming topics for the future issues are going to be film, music, fashion, and maybe even cooking. So if you would like to share anything with our readers don’t be shy. Once again, any inquiries or questions can be sent to our email address at findyourself firstname.lastname@example.org. One Love! -Dawn Webster Head Honcho
For Frank Buffalo Hyde’s work go to Frankbuffalohyde.com For Brenda Hill’s work go to email@example.com For Dwayne Manuel’s work go to https://www.facebook.com/dwayno.insano For Shana Elijah-Thomas contact email firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANK BUFFALO HYDE Find Yourself Magazine: What first inspired you to start creating? What keeps you creating? Frank Buffalo Hyde: Growing up when I would come to Santa Fe I would go to a lot of openings and pour over Southwest Art Magazine looking at Images of Contemporary Native Art.I Never saw any work that accurately spoke to my existence. Although there are a lot of Artist addressing this issue today, I keep creating because I feel there is more work to be done in The National and International Lexicon.
FYM: Having known you a while I have seen your work evolve in phases along with various themes you have expressed. Pop culture, humor, the paranormal and cultural identity are all there, but which are your favorites to explore and why? Stylistically, I've been all over the map. You name it I've done it, I think there is something to be said for doing the work and gleaning what you can from each period of work. Too many artists find a comfortable area and stay there for years, decades .I enjoy working on pieces that are relevant, subversive ,satirical and unique. ultimately if it's not interesting to me than I can't expect the viewer to be engaged. FYM: One of the most recent pieces I have seen is the one you did of Gwen Stefani, Inappropriate, which I really liked because over all Gwen didn't get a pass to use her status to get away with basically doing red face. However Johnny depp's recent role as Tonto has gotten him "adopted". What are your thoughts about this kind of double standard? FBH: Well, I've read almost every article about Depp's Tonto and I have been making paintings about it for a year. Now that the film is out, I won't be seeing it, my initial reaction was founded. There is nothing new about a white actor playing Indian professing his love for Indian country. It's a typical American reaction if I offend you...it's okay because I threw a little money at you, You should be grateful. As for the adoption, well... until he marries an NDN women all he has is a library card. Gwen Steffani, if youâ€™re listening my family will adopt you no problem! FYM: Tell me about your family life growing up, and your family life now. FBH: I grew up on the Onondaga Nation, I'm a middle child and have had three step families. My Mother and Father divorced when I was very young, my mother remarried once, my father remarried twice. Anyone who has ever grown up on a Reserve knows what that's all about I'm thankful for my friends growing up and other members of the community I might not have made it through my early years without them. I am once divorced and have a young daughter almost 3 years old With my current wife. Relationships are tough man.
FYM: Aside from the Santa Fe scene, who were some of the first artist that peaked your interest? FBH: I was really influenced by my older cousins Clint and Kyle Shenendoah both Artists made me feel like I wanted to find a way to express myself. In high school my Art teacher Nick Todisco pushed me to calm down with the fast life and graduate. I really enjoy German expressionist painters like George Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer. Pop artists (Robert) Rauschenberg, (Jasper) Johns, (James) Rosenquist. Abstract expressionist Willem De Kooning and political artist Banksy are just a few.
FYM: In addition to being a painter you are also a musician and song writer. Who are your alltime favorites? And who are your recent favorites? FBH: I enjoy all types of music. my favorites change but I love Robert Johnson, Tupac, The Beatles, John Cougar Mellencamp, Pearl Jam , Soundgarden. Biggie and Dr. Dre, and Snoop. These days I like The Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Adele, Mumford and Sons, Pharell and Weezy.
Find Yourself Magazine: Tell me about your family life, growing up and family life nowadays. Where ya from so forth. Dwayne Manuel: I am from the Salt River reservation in Arizona, and is where I grew up. Good times, as a child was spent playing outside and exploring things. I have a lot of brothers and cousins, so we were always around each other. It wasnâ€™t until the introduction of video games in the later years where we started to stay inside. Nowadays I live in Tucson, AZâ€Śso, family time is limited to a weekend or two here and there.
FYM: What inspired you to start creating? DM:I have been drawing since I can remember. I always had this need to do it. Some people work on cars, some people are mothers, some people steal, some people do drugs, I draw.
FYM: What keeps you creating? DM: That need that I spoke of earlier, that keeps me creating to this day. It’s a fire that won’t go out, won’t go away, and it always gives in. FYM: What are some of your favorite themes that you use in your work? DM: I like the odd themes, parasites, abstraction, personal narrative. I once put a Native American headdress on a giant penis once, it was a painting.
FYM: What are your feelings about being a Native American Artist? Do you feel there is a stigma that comes with the label? DM: I feel great about being a Native American artist. It's a unique voice. Inspiring others to create and positively move forward is my sack of kool aid, ya dig? In my work, I get to explore and dig deep into who I am and where I come from. History is a big driving force within me, and my work allows me to indulge, and that pleases me. There is a stigma with the Native American Artist label, just like any other issue of label-ation, it automatically can set boundaries and limitations. Then the questions becomes, how far can your puppies venture when your electric fence keeps zapping them bald? And there's a land made of kibbles and bits beyond that fence...sometimes.
FYM: Who are some of your favorite artists? DM: Hieronymus Bosch, Jenny Saville, El Anatsui, Gerald Clarke, Fritz Scholder, Norman Akers, Alfred Quiroz. Also, my crews are a big influence on my aerosol game. FYM: What makes art good? DM: What makes Art good is its ability to give a voice to the voiceless.
FYM: What are some of your favorite books or music? DM: Two of my favorite books are Parasite Rex and Forced to Abandon Our Fields: The 1914 Clay Southworth Gila River Pima Interviews. And music, I listen to a lot of Old School Thrash, Death Metal, Grindcore, Sludge and Doom! Scream bloody gore! FYM: How old are you and where do you see yourself in 5 years? DM: I am currently 29 years of age. I see myself painting walls, drawing nonstop and teaching...and thrashing...til death!
Find Yourself Magazine: Tell me about your family life and growing up. What inspired you to begin creating? Brenda Hill: I was exposed to the arts and education of our native culture by several people in my family. I spent most of my years with my mother. Her and my father split when I was about 3 years old. But it was their creative talents and educational minds that brought them together. My mother, being a single mother of three, exposed me to native arts and culture from an early age. She was a phenomenally talented and smart woman. She learned and experimented in all facets of native material culture; from pottery, to stone and wood carving, to mat making and beadwork. Thru the years she exercised her talents in photography, printmaking, drawing and also sewing. Looking back, there wasn't much of anything that she didn't take on and did well at the same time. All the while, she taught & she instilled in me, the values of the native girl I was and the woman I would become. My father was not totally absent from my life, although he remarried and later brought into the world, brothers and sisters I would grow to love. He too, in his own way, nurtured my being. He too, was a creative individual with the camera and the paint. He later grew to be an amazing writer and orator of our Haudenosaunee culture
Both my parents become teachers and educators of our culture and knowledge. I remember spending days tagging along to various jobs, classes, talks and lectures with both my parents on separate occasions. My paternal grandfather, Stan Hill, was and later became a stronger guiding force in my creative endeavors. He became world renowned for his bone and antler carvings. All of which depicted specific aspects of his Mohawk culture. Although, as most artists', there was an underlying presence of his own creativity, his own being reflected in amazingly, complex pieces. He always told me, there wasn't a book in the world that could teach us who we truly were. It was in each one of us to bring to the forefront. His sons, my Uncles, also took up the carving that he did and were always, and still are, a guiding force in my life. I would have to say, the culmination of all this, and the passing of my mother due to cancer when I was 18, fueled the fires to my career in the arts. I remember saying as teen, I never wanted to do what my mother did. But after her passing it only seemed right to pay homage to her efforts by engaging in the arts. Working with clay gave me a sense of connectedness to her and the earth that she now rested in. All in all, I had to respect the generations before me, the lessons taught, the words spoken and be the person I was raised to be. FYM: There is an incorporation of nature that blends into your pieces. What are some of the themes that you love to explore through your work? BH: I love to explore the beauty of the nature that surrounds us. The gifts we receive from the land we walk on in the clay I use and the gifts from the waters that nurture us in the food of the quahog with the shell I use . I like to give people a beautiful, simply elegant rendition of the natural clay of the earth. In hopes that I can pass on a renewed respect for our Mother Earth. I also explore the themes that relate to my native culture. We are taught to respect the earth as a living being. To tread light for the earth is the center of our existence. Without it, we may not exist as a people or a culture. The earth gives us many gift to be thankful for, clay is one I pay homage too. Pottery is also a historic part of our Haudenosaunee material culture. Pottery was utilized by tribes across the country in history as a tool of survival. Today, as in the past, each tribe had a distinctive style of pottery which was very symbolic of the region it derived from. Continuing on with this age old tradition has been important to me as a way of maintaining cultural survival and
FYM: Who are some of your favorite artist? What do you feel makes art good? BH: Being an artist, I have had several favorite artists and some have changed over time as my skill and knowledge in the art progresses. I feel a true artist is forever progressing and evolving. Although I have never painted, I have a fond liking to several painters of the past. Van Gogh, Picasso, De Kooning, Pollock. I love how they depicted THEIR view or rendition of the world around them but in a technique that was their own. I am impressed by several abstract impressionist of Native Arts. Again, depicting age old tribal traditions and symbolism in their own manner. And I am forever impressed by the bounds that native potters push with the material, both traditional and contemporary. FYM: What are your feelings about being a Native American Artist? Do you feel there is a stigma that comes with the label or is it a non-factor? BH: Well I'm pretty darn honored to be a Native artist to tell you the truth. I come from two parents that instilled in me at an early age who I am. There was no sugar coating, it was; this is who you are and you have to honor that. Most importantly as a Native woman. I have delved into my art and teaching at the depths I have because I feel a sense of responsibility as a Native woman who is an artist. A responsibility to contribute to my cultural continuity and a responsibility to nurture the gift that has been given to me.
When working with clay, I teach my students all the natural elements that are involved in the process; the earth, the water, the air, and the fire. All of these elements are gifts that were given to us to honor, cherish, and care for. I feel as a Native woman, that through my art, I can teach these lessons and carry on these traditional teachings. I also have a sense of responsibility to honor my family as a Native American artist. The lessons both my parents tough me were not in vain. The long hours and years of work both maternal & paternal grandparents put in, was not in vain. To this day, I remember talk with my grandpa, Stan Hill, about push the bar when it came to my art. To create from me & make a style that is my own, to do something that no one else was doing.. He said, yes we have a ton of tribal symbolism attached to our traditional teachings but don't just keep repeating those same images, take them and make them into my own interpretation. I am still constantly working to refine my style and my message. To honor those traditional teachings and material culture of my tribe. In this process I have most certainly come upon a stigma from the public viewing my art. I don't know how many times I've heard, "hey do you ever paint your pottery". Sometimes I wanna shout NO, NO I DON'T BECAUSE MY TRIBE DID NOT HISTORICALLY PAINT THEIR POTTERY. But I take a deep breath and say, no I don't paint my pottery because historically Haudenosaunee and Southeastern Tribes did not paint on pottery. They imprinted or incised designs and left the surface natural. My work may be very contemporary but I like to pay homage to the old styles.
FYM: What are some of your favorite books or music? BH: Ahh, good question! Well I would have to say some of my most favorite books to read were art show or historical publications my Dad Rick contributed to. My parents divorced when I was 3, so I had my father in my life at various points and not always consistently until later in life. Read his publications were like getting those fatherly lessons. Hearing his perspective and what he valued in life helped mold me but also gave me a better understanding of who he was. Through the miles I felt closer to him. But for other reading enjoyment I enjoyed Anne Rice; The Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned. Before Anne Rice I was into Stephen King. I read The Stand at least 3 times. Also Misery and Thinner were good reads also. The movies never did his books justice. Most recently I enjoyed Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Man looking at music I'm a genre freak! I have a range of likes from classical with my love for Mozart, Vivaldi and Hayden. To hip hop with its roots in NYC in the late 80's and 90's; Biggie, Erik B and Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest and Brand Nubian. I'm a fan of the talent of Stevie Ray Vaughn and really love some of the old blues. I enjoy my native jams from powwow to esganye. And you can hear me belting out some Etta James, Beyonce or Christina Aguilera at a karaoke venue near you *smile*. FYM: How old are you and where do you see yourself in 5 years? BH: A woman never tells her age, but in 45 years I'd like to be in a home filled with love; making art, cooking good food and hearing giggles & laughs of happiness. I'd like to see my daughter heading down a good path in life as a young woman, seeking an education towards a fulfilling career and possibly finding quality love for herself. I'd like to see myself making positive strides in my art. Continuing to create and bring to life the visions that grow in my mind and the elements I value as a Native artist. I'd like to share this life with a man that values his family and culture and nurtures the work I do as an artist, teacher, and mother. I would like to have seen myself make significant contributions to my tribal community by teaching and keeping alive the tradition of pottery making and instilling in others the need to nurture their inherent talents. All in all, I see myself happy and surrounded by love in 5 years
Find Yourself Magazine: Tell me about your family life growing up and family life now? Shana Elijah-Thomas: I grew up in Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement, which is a small community outside of London Ont. Canada. We had a whole road named after our family name “ELIJAH” which I’ve always thought was the coolest thing growing up. My family life now is a lot like back in days when we would just get together and have good times, lots of laughs, my family is big on laughs, we do holidays together, picnics, pot lucks, BBQs-a lot of food things. Being the oldest granddaughter I was always like the babysitter… I knew how to take care of young ones when I was still a young one if you know what I'm saying. And once I started having my own children, it came naturally. It’s like I always knew what I was doing. So now three sets of twins later, my family has only grown stronger. I’m proud of being a part of a large family, it’s the way it was done a long time ago and yes I do hope to have more babies someday.
FYM: What inspired you to start creating? SET: My life. I’ve always had a wild imagination, I’ve been drawing for as long as I could remember, things that were there in front me, or things that I wanted, I could draw any super heroes and cartoons from Saturday morning. I just made art out of anything around me. FYM: What are some of your favorite themes that you use in your work? SET: The Haudenosaunee tradition of “story telling” has been one of my favorite themes that I’ve used my whole life. Stories about my people’s whole creation, how we got to be who we are and why things are the way they are on this earth. FYM: Who are some of your favorite artists? SET: Carl Beam and Kara Walker are a few artists I learned about in school a few years back. They are Two totally different people from different creeds yet their work is similar in the theme of an oppressed people.
FYM: What makes art good? SET: The way we can use art as an educational tool. Some people can read a text as well as they can read a painting or drawing. FYM: What are your feelings about being a Native American Artist? Do you feel there is a stigma that comes with the label or is it a non-factor? SET: There is a stigma. But I'm slowly growing out of that. I used to think does everything I do HAVE to be Native themed? And no it doesn’t, its already who I am but that does not mean I can’t draw inspiration from cultures that aren’t mine. I don’t like the limitations that these titles pose, but if I’m a Native Artist, anything I create will still be native art. It’s kind of funny too, I use it as a sort of irony and you can see that in some of my work. FYM: What are some of your favorite books and music? SET: Any kind of Biography. I love true stories. And My collection of Art history books are taking up the book shelf at home. My favorite music ranges from Traditional Haudenosaunee songs, to classical, to rock and roll, just anything and everything. FYM: How old are you and where do you see yourself in five years? SET: I am 30 years old and from here on out, It only gets better.
Published on Aug 29, 2013