lessLIE

Northwest Coast Native Artist lessLIE from Coast Salish Nation

Coast Salish Nation

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.

 

Selected Group Exhibition:

2011     Coast Salish Masterworks: Connecting the Past to the Present, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.

Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)

Present Works

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  • Salmon Water Ripples

    lessLIE

    CA$300.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2014

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • Untitled

    lessLIE

    CA$1,200.00

    Acrylic paint on Acid-free paper

    2011

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • Salmon Water Waves

    lessLIE

    CA$300.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2012

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

     

  • Transformline – Black

    lessLIE

    CA$275.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2012

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • We’Ve

    lessLIE

    CA$400.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2011

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

     

  • Feeding Hummingbirds

    lessLIE

    CA$300.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

     

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • Patron

    lessLIE

    CA$450.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

     

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • con TEXT

    lessLIE

    CA$450.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2009

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)


    “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


     

  • Seagles

    lessLIE

    CA$275.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 50

    2007

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)


    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

     

     


  • Pro Creation

    lessLIE

    CA$250.00

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2007

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)


    “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


  • Quwut Sun

    lessLIE

    SOLD

    Serigraph, Edition of 100

    2005

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)


    “This contemporary Coast Salish sun design is an attempt to mediate between the Hul’qumi’num language (the language of the Cowichan Tribes) and English. There have been various anglecized spellings of this Hul’qumi’num toponym (place name), such as “Cowichan,” “Khowutzun,” and the currently accepted “Quwutsun.” This Hul’qumi’num term has been simplified and misinterpreted as meaning “The Warm Land,” when it should be more correctly interpreted as meaning “warmed by the sun,” or “basking in the sun with your back turned to the sun.”

    The four eclipsed suns surrounding the central sun symbolize the darkness of ignorance blocking Daylight, a powerful source of truth.”

    –lessLIE


Past Works

The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.