[T]he show, which runs until Oct. 5, represents an abrupt turn from Price’s familiar works, many of which track Luiseño Indian people, places and cultural practices. His new collection, which totals more than 40 paintings and is still growing, detours into many vexing contemporary issues.
Only one painting in the new series-–titled “Heart of Darkness”-–seems to directly draw upon Price’s long and bittersweet association with Pechanga tribal members and their leaders. That painting shows a feather-bedecked woman, an emotion-raked face cradled in her forearms, caught between a colonial mission and a modern-day casino.
He also worked an artistic consultant to the tribe, developing a logo for its casino that opened in temporary buildings in July 1995. He recreated Luiseño rock art and other cultural items and subsequently designed the interior of the temporary casino’s café.
Price played a key role in illustrating the tribe’s cultural identity when the band built its permanent casino years later. His paintings of Luiseño people, settings, spirits and belongings were enlarged and splashed across the hotel entrance, massive conference room and other locations. Some of the paintings were reproduced as large as 50 feet wide and 18 feet high.
I'm sure I've seen some of these images in the Pechanga Hotel and Casino. Nice stuff. Especially since he's a non-Native doing "Native" work. Apparently his paintings were authentic enough that the tribe kept and used them.