February 04, 2007

Find the hidden Indian

From the Houston Chronicle, 2/4/07:

American Indian culture shapes sculptor's work

Childhood among diverse tribes inspires Denton artistAmerican Indian images became much more visible in his sculpture, but Cadell said they'd been in his art since painting.

"I'd hide (Indian figures) in the trees. In the bark, sometimes. I'd sell a piece and a while later get a call from someone asking me about the things I'd hidden in it," he said.

"I don't know what happened exactly with the sculpture. It just hit me between the eyes. I'm part-Indian, and there is so much about them that hasn't been said. I guess I always wanted to show them as a people, not as savages."
Comment:  Hiding Indians in one's artwork is an interesting approach. It could have a negative message: that Indians are mysterious and mythical rather than real. Or it could have a positive message: that Indians are woven into the fabric of our country. I suppose it depends on the artist and his or her motivation.


Anonymous said...

This guy is full of crap! I wonder if he tries to sell his Waldo inspired art as authentic Indian art. All of his comments about Indians such as "The Native Americans were fascinated with eagles" or "They'd climb up and look into the nests, and a lot of them dreamed of flying and "American Indians didn't name their children until they could discern the boy's or girl's character" sounds like they were taken straight from a book or a bad Hollywood movie.
Unfortunately the general public just eats this kind of crap up. There's nothing one can do unless he violates the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which it doesn't look like he's done "yet."


Rob said...

The article briefly indicated that Cadell is white, though it could've emphasized the point more. I doubt he'd suddenly claim to be an Indian.

Cadell did speak in unfortunate generalities and clichés about Indians. Oddly, he said the bear represents aggression and power, not love. (See A Bearable Brother Bear for more on the subject.)