lessLIE

Born in 1973 in Duncan, B.C., lessLIE is Coast Salish of Cowichan, Penelakut, Esquimalt, Irish, Italian, and French descent. His colonized, Catholic, Canadian name is Leslie Robert Sam. His decolonized artist’s name is lessLIE. Hitler once said that the bigger the lie you tell, the more people you can get to beLIEve in it. Hitler was a proponent of racism, genocide, and imperialism, which are political forces which lessLIE is fighting against. Picasso once said that art is a lie that tells the truth. In the spirit of the trickster traditions of the Northwest Coast, lessLIE partially beLIEves in this perspective of Picasso’s. lessLIE has a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, B.C. While working on this undergraduate degree, lessLIE began to study Coast Salish art. He has been studying Coast Salish art since 1995. lessLIE was greatly inspired and encouraged by his cousin Joe Wilson. Later other renowned Coast Salish arts such as Manual Salazar, Maynard Johnny Jr., Shaun Peterson, Luke Marston and John Marston influenced his artistic endeavours. However, his primary inspiration from a very young age has been Coast Salish artist Susan A. Point (to whom he is distantly related to), Robert Davidson and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Currently, lessLIE is a graduate student at the University of Victoria, working on a Master of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on Coast Salish art. His thesis is a critique of the literature and lack of literature on Coast Salish art. As a component of this graduate degree, lessLIE has also worked at Thunderbird Park Carving Studio in Victoria. lessLIE is artistically bound to Coast Salish art traditions and mythology and his artistic style is true to form and design. His artwork can be found locally and internationally where it is being very well received by new and seasoned collectors. EXHIBTIONS:2011 “Coast Salish Masterworks”, Coastal Peoples Gallery

  • Vision Beyond W(h)orl(d)

    lessLIE

    $1,600.00 CAD

    Acrylic on Paper

  • Songs of Salmon People

    lessLIE

    $350.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 50

    Unframed

  • ‘liFe’

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph Edition of 100

    2010

    Unframed

  • Seeing The Center

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2015

     

    Unframed

  • Salmon Water Ripples

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2014

     

    Unframed

  • Wolves [Framed]

    lessLIE

    $620.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2013

    Framed

  • Salmon Transforming

    lessLIE

    $505.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

     

    Framed

  • Redefining Each Other [Framed]

    lessLIE

    $660.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition 3 of 100

    2012

    Framed

  • Untitled

    lessLIE

    $1,200.00 CAD

    Acrylic paint on Acid-free paper

    2011

    Unframed

     

  • Salmon Water Waves

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2012

    Unframed

     

  • Redefining Each Other

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2012

    Unframed

     

  • Transformline – Red

    lessLIE

    $275.00 CAD

    Serigraph

    Edition of 100

    2012

     

  • Transformline – Black

    lessLIE

    $275.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2012

    Unframed

     

  • We’Ve

    lessLIE

    $400.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2011

    Unframed

     

     

  • Salmon Drum

    lessLIE

    $1,800.00 CAD

    Deer hide, Sinew, Acrylic paint

     

     

  • Feeding Hummingbirds

    lessLIE

    $300.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    Unframed

     

  • Patron

    lessLIE

    $450.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    Unframed

     

  • Moon

    lessLIE

    $275.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 30

    2007

    Unframed


    “This contemporary Coast Salish painting depicts the moon with two stars. The white stripe at the center of the design alludes to Barnett Newman’s “zip,” and borrowing influences from modern art. Barnett Newman had an admiration of Northwest Coast art. As a contemporary Northwest Coast artist, I have an admiration of the work of Modern artists such as Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and Keith Haring. Since many modern artists were influenced by indigenous art forms, and since contemporary Canadian culture partially developed on Salish sOIL, since contemporary Coast Salish people live in the most densely and diversely populated and most urbanized area of the Northwest Coast, this contemporary cultural reality should be reflected in our work.”

    — lessLIE


     

  • con TEXT

    lessLIE

    $450.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2009

    Unframed

     


    “As a contemporary Northwest Coast artist, the de-contextualization of Northwest Coast art is of great interest to me. By some scholars and Northwest Coast traditionalists, Northwest Coast ceremonial art has generally been perceived as de-contextualized when taken away from its ceremonial context. When the words and songs and dances are taken away from Northwest Coast art, it is perceived by some as being robbed of its meaning; hence the title “Con Text.” As a contemporary Coast Salish artist, one of the undertakings of my work is to create a new context for Coast Salish art through the utilization of text.”

     

    –lessLIE


     

  • Salmon and Water

    lessLIE

    $325.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 50

    2008

    Unframed

     

  • Seagles

    lessLIE

    $275.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 50

    2007

    Unframed


    in this design
    you see eagles

    in this design
    you see seagulls.

    in this design, I am attempting to mediate between literacy and Coast Salish visual art. Hence the punning of the title “sEAGLES,” which is a way of making a visual pun, and making literacy visual. At the top and bottom of this design, there is the suggestion of the letter “s,” which simultanously forms the eagle wings while defining the seagull heads. So visual punning is created through both the painted design and the title of this piece.

    -lessLIE

     

     


  • Salish Bracelet

    lessLIE

    $250.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2007

    Unframed


    “Coast Salish bracelets, collected only in the 18th and 19th centuries, were made of goat horn. Most of these bracelets had what some scholars believed to be decorative, non-representational deSIGNS (the sign and the signified. As a contemporary Coast Salish artist, it is my contention that these designs were an ambiguous and abstract way of visually expresSING the Coast Salish world view. For this reason, in the center of this design, I have placed two ambiguous, visually vague faces, which are flanked by abstract, “decorative” deSIGNS (take away the sign, and see the signified).

     

    these aesthetic principles

    are not mere aesthetic principles

    they are actual principles

    to live by in life

    these motifs are not mere motifs

    they are actual cultural beliefs

    to live by in life

    these designs are not mere designs

    they are actual cultural interpretations

    of the grand designs of the cosmos”

    –lessLIE


     

  • Two Salmon

    lessLIE

    $150.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 150

    2007

    Unframed


    “Some of my work, when simply depicting nature and animals, is a visual tribute to the greatness of nature and animals. This design is a tribute to salmon. On a formal level, the middle of the design — the eccentric circle and the negative ovals above and below the trigons, have a minor northern Northwest Coast influence, yet they are rendered in a style which is distinctly Coast Salish. Concentric circles are design elements of Coast Salish art, but in the case of this design, they are eccentric circles. Concentric ovals are design elements of the Coast Salish art, but in the case of this design, they are simply negative ovals flanking a negative trigon. Many northern Northwest Coast designs utilize negative cirlces, ovals, and ovoids to fill in large positive spaces. How many influences a contemporary Coast Salish artist can accept from Haida art without succumbing to a Haida-centric perspective is a matter of cultrual conFUSION.”

    –lessLIE


  • Pro Creation

    lessLIE

    $250.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2007

    Unframed


    “This contemporary Coast Salish design, titled “Pro Creation”, through the act of creativity,is a celebration of the act of procreation. In the design, two salmon heads are depicted, the negative crescentric space simultaneously defining their mouths, as well as defining each other's lower jaw. This simple visual punning represents interconnectedness through procreation. This simple visual punning also represents the beginnings of the offspring of the two salmon. In some of philosophical musings, I have often wondered which act is great, creation or procreation? I came to the conclusion that procreation is great than creation, since creation, as a human culture, woudl not exist without procreation. I also felt that the lIFe of one human being is much greater than the body of work of any artist. Recently though, I have felt that creatively creates culture, and makes the procreation of many generations possible. So I now see both creation and procreation as both being great acts of humankind.

    On a personal leve, althought I am not really “pro-choice” or “pro-life”, my myOTHER , when she was a sixteen year old girl with me, was considering abortion. With love for her, I am thankful that she gave birth to me. If she never procreated me, the creativity of my lIFe would not exisit.”

    — lessLIE