Kent Monkman (b. 1965) is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who often references the work of 19th-century American artists such as George Catlin and Albert Bierstadt to critique the effects of colonialism on Native Americans. In Monkman’s recent series of four video paintings, he explores the theme of First Nations peoples who traveled to Europe as ambassadors for themselves. Oftentimes they were brought over as specimens for human zoos in the 19th century, as was the case in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and George Catlin’s Gallery of the North American Indian. In the artist’s reimagining of this historical legacy, he constructs a platform for Miss Chief Eagle Testickle (his drag alter ego) to explore this contested history through humor and artistic resolve.
In his panoramic painting Wedding at Sodom (2017), Monkman draws inspiration from European paintings to depict a scene of revelry. Here, he focuses on the allegory of the American frontier to speak about Transgender and gender nonconformity at the forefront of contemporary culture.
Video Crossings Series: Kent Monkman is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Museum's annual fund.
Admission is free for Phoenix Art Museum Members, Military Members and youth aged 5 and under.
This exhibition is offered to the general public for free during voluntary donation, free-access hours from 3 - 9 p.m. each Wednesday, from 6 - 10 p.m. every First Friday of the month, and every second Saturday and Sunday of the month.
Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.
Exhibitions page and right: Kent Monkman, Wedding at Sodom, 2017. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM.
Left: Kent Monkman, Love, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM.