Kent Monkman produces luscious acrylic on canvas works that are bold steals from, and parodies of, Canada’s noble history of landscape painting. With more than a nod to museum and collector favourites, Paul Kane and Cornelius Krieghoff, Monkman happily re-inhabits their colonial representation of landscape and culture, peopling them with his strutting, preening native queens, dressed or undressed to the nines in vividly coloured furs and feathers. They are re-writing history and myth from a queer and Native perspective. His tableaux vivants or stage set installations are also re-enactments of culture and history: theatrical and funny, the parodies also contain pain in their references to real injustices—historical, sexual and political.
Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, performance, installation, film and video. He has exhibited in solo and group shows in Canada, the us and Europe. He has produced site-specific performances for a number of museums and galleries and his short film and video works have been screened internationally, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.