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Homage to Historic Portraiture: Paintings by Nocona Burgess

A portrait of a middle-aged aboriginal woman rendered in stark contrastFavourite Aunt - Southern Cheyenne, acrylic on canvas

Nocona Burgess, our featured artist of the day, spent most of his upbringing surrounded by art, and knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue it. Today, Nocona’s works centre around a graphic, sharply contrasted art style in which the artist pays homage to historic portraiture, and his own Comanche heritage.


A painting of a coyote hunting on a plainPlains Coyote

I love Nocona’s bright, minimalist style – most of his subjects are rendered in black and white, with sharp, stark shadows and sparse highlights of colour. His backgrounds tend to be deep monochromes, often in earthy tones like red or orange. The subjects that Nocona works with in his portraiture are usually historic figures, or family members, portrayed in traditional aboriginal dress.

A screen capture of Nocona Burgess' image gallery on his websiteThe image gallery on Nocona's webpage

Nocona is represented by several galleries throughout the United States including New Mexico, Arizona, and Pennsylvania – as well as internationally by galleries in Sweden and Australia. More of his works are available on his website at  


A portrait of an aboriginal "medicine man" holding a painted drumOld Brass - Black Bird Medicine


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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