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Acrylic paint on Canvas
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Acrylic paint on Canvas
|Dimensions||49.75 x 37.5 x 2"|
David Neel has been creating art in the Kwakwaka’wakw style for over thirty years. His paintings, printmaking, carvings, and jewelry are all informed by his heritage, which includes several successful artists: Dave Neel Sr., his father; Ellen Neel, his grandmother; Mungo Martin, his great-great uncle; and Charlie James, his great-great-great grandfather. While many of his pieces are more contemporary in their material and design, Neel learned carving in the traditional style by his family and peers in his father’s village.
While Neel portrays meaningful stories and traditional values in all of his pieces, he says he finds jewelry the most impactful art form. He appreciates the fact that clients attach their own meaning to his jewelry and that it is used to mark important, personal events in people’s lives.
Neel has exhibited his work in many public institutions, including solo exhibitions at: the National Portrait Gallery of Canada; The Smithsonian Institution – NMAI; the Venice Biennale, and his work is represented in numerous public collections. His children are following in family legacy; studying art at the Emily Carr University and working with their father.
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Serigraph, Edition of 75
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one: They promised to take our land, and they took it.” ~ Chief Red Cloud
Broken Promises is David Neel’s powerful tribute to those who supported the Standing Rock Sioux in their struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The DAPL protests began in 2016, when the construction of this 1,886 km underground oil pipeline was approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This 3.7-billion-dollar project would allow the transfer of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil field to a refinery near Patoka, Illinois. However, the pipeline constituted a threat to the water supply for the nearby Standing Rock Indian Reservation, as well as to the preservation of the Standing Rock Sioux’s ancient burial grounds. Thus, the pipeline sparked bitter controversy across the nation, and North Dakota was flooded with environmental and Indigenous rights activists from all over the world.
“No Native American issue in recent years has captured the public’s imagination like the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline…. Ignored by the mainstream media, there was wide spread support from the public, and the issue went viral in social media with the hashtag, #noDapl, becoming widely recognized. It is ironic that this standoff took place on the same territory where Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud once fought the United States cavalry. But the pipeline protests were not to protect an ancient way of life: it was about human rights – public water versus corporate profits. The water supply to millions of people, who depend on water from the Missouri River, was threatened by the pipeline which will cross the river. This inspired thousands of Americans, Native and non-Native, to brave attack dogs, water cannons, tear gas and freezing weather to protect the public right to clean water.” ~ David Neel
The central image of Broken Promises shows Chief Red Cloud, a prominent Oglala Lakota chief who lead the fight against the U.S. military in a conflict that came to be known as “Red Cloud’s War.” In this print, Chief Red Cloud serves as a symbol of Native American traditional values and the Indigenous communities’ hard-fought struggle to retain their lands. The images in the top left and right of the print show protestors from Brazil and France, respectively. The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline raised environmental and Indigenous rights issues that communities all over the world are facing. The DAPL protests thus drew supporters on an international scale, as these images can attest. In the bottom left corner of the print, David has placed an image of protestors trying to stop earth movers from working on the pipeline. The bottom right corner features an image of the severe police response to the peaceful protest. Finally, the border of the print is constructed using a traditional Plains design, which is taken from a Plains Native American parfleche.