Contemporary and Traditional: Art by Nocona Burgess


A painting of a Lakota woman in a star shirtLakota in Star Shirt

Nocona Burgess is a Comache artist originally from Oklahoma. Having been exposed to art throughout his life, Nocona has developed a unique style that blends visual elements of contemporary and traditional, pop art and and Native American art.

 

A portrait of a Yakima cowboy in the 1930'sYakima Cowboy 1934

Generally sticking to acrylic on canvas as a medium, Nocona depicts human subjects, mostly Native elders, in modern and traditional dress. I enjoy the contrast between the subdued, desaturated tones of these faces and the bright monochromatic fields of color that the artist uses as backgrounds. Each portrait subject is essentially surrounded by negative space, but it’s so vibrant that it adds a celebratory edge to the otherwise somber figures.

 

The image gallery on Nocona Burgess' art websiteNocona's gallery of paintings

 

Nocona also often paints animals such as coyotes and horses, giving them a similar treatment as his human figures. With each tuft of fur rendered in dark, heavy detail, the coyotes slink across the canvases, often accompanied by brightly colored moons on complementary backgrounds. 

 

A painting of a coyote under a pale moonCoyote Traveler

Written by: Dallas Jeffs

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