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Dramatic Portraits: The Painting Portfolio of Nocona Burgess

A painting of a native American man in traditional clothingModern Warrior

Nocona Burgess is an artist and a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. In his artistic practice, Nocona paints powerful, often dramatic portraits of native American people from different nations around North America.

A painting of a woman from the Hopi tribeHopi 2


The artist’s paintings are made all the more striking by his use of monochromatic backgrounds, sometimes incorporating geometric elements. There’s a contrast at play here between the traditional, portrait-style treatment of the human figures, and these geometric elements that hearken to Western contemporary art of the mid 20th century and beyond.

A screen capture of Nocona Burgess' art


Nocona draws from a combination of research and personal experience in constructing the details of each portrait. The resulting works are carefully constructed and command the viewer’s full attention in construction and unpacking a narrative behind each face. The strikingly bright colours and stark compositions of the works help to clear away all obstacles for the viewer, allowing Nocona’s subjects to be seen fully.    

A painting of a black wolf on a blue backgroundStraggler

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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