A Sense of Reverence: Art by Nocona Burgess

A painting of a buffaloEKA NUMU KUTSU - RED BUFFALO

Nocona Burgess is a Comanche artist based in Oklahoma. In his practice, Nocona produces paintings of Native people as well as the wildlife and landscapes of Comanche Nation lands. The artist’s style blends modern compositions and colour theory with a sense of reverence for classic, traditional portraiture. 

A stencil painting of a man wearing a traditional Comanche headdressUntitled


I really like the way Nocona approaches form and colour in his portraits. The artist’s works are heavily detailed, but rather than using the soft blending techniques that are frequently seen in realistic portraiture, the artist leans into a graphic style with large, thick brush marks forming the contours of faces and clothing, and high-contrast colour palettes. The resulting works have a stoic quality to them, one that’s balanced from becoming overly cold by the use of bright, saturated colour in the backgrounds. 


Nocona packs an impressive amount of detail into works that may seem relatively simple in composition. In his paintings of birds (like crows and eagles), the artist takes care to render each feather with highlights and lowlights.

A stencil painting of a traditional Comanche figureUntitled

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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