“I am tired of Bambi-like deer paintings reproduced over and over—I am tired of cartoon paintings of my people,” said T.C. Cannon. He paired modernist art principles with themes inspired by his Caddo/Kiowa heritage to elevate Native American art and contemporary figurative painting. His artistic development and social consciousness can be attributed in part to the Institute of American Indian Arts where he enrolled at age eighteen. In the 1960s, students at the newly established school pushed back against stereotypical, romanticized representations of Native American life, encouraged by their instructors to engage in creative experimentation and embrace their tribal identity. A dedicated multimedia artist, Cannon emphasized how Native Americans persisted and thrived through visual art, poetry, and song.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine, Points West Museum, and Peabody Essex Museum