Sonny Assu is an interdisciplinary artist based in British Columbia. Sonny’s works combine motifs of west coast First Nations artwork with the contemporary imagery of video games, pop art, comic books, and branded packaging.
The artist’s recent series The Speculator Boom is a fascinatingly introspective look at not only the artist’s own history, but at a particular moment in the history of Western pop culture. These paintings feature busy collages of cut-up comic book pages, made from many of Sonny’s own beloved childhood artefacts. The comic book images are layered under paintings that utilize motifs of Kwakwaka’wakw art, rendered in a bright, heavy-outlined style that itself suggests the bombastic lines and planes of colour found in comic books.
These works, along with many other in Sonny’s art portfolio, function both as a form of catharsis for the artist. Dealing with his own heritage, childhood, and personal growth in his works, Sonny’s works leave enough ambiguity to provide that same personal connection for viewers.