Toronto gallery cancels show after concerns artist ‘bastardizes’ Indigenous art

Outrage over a Toronto artist borrowing from the style of an acclaimed Indigenous painter has prompted a gallery to cancel its plans for an upcoming exhibit.

Visions Gallery had planned to showcase the work of Amanda PL, 29, a local non-Indigenous artist who says she was inspired by the Woodlands style made famous by the Anishinabe artist Norval Morrisseau beginning in the ’60s, with a focus on nature, animals and Indigenous spirituality.

But within hours of the gallery’s email announcement promoting the exhibit, there was a backlash, with people alleging that PL had appropriated Indigenous culture and art.

  • Dave In Guelph

    The Rachel Dolezal of Indigenous art.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I’m predicting college classes that burn books soon. Where the actual coursework involves book burning.

  • Alain

    What pray tell is truly indigenous art? I mean before the arrival of coloured beads, paints, brushes and metal craving tools.

    • J. C.

      Stacking rocks.

    • Watchman

      In general, it would be limited to defecation patterns on the ground, graffiti on cave walls, and tattoos. Subsistence societies spend almost all of their time trying to get enough calories to survive and reproduce, not hold art exhibitions. In the colder countries, people spent more time on art and avoiding freezing to death in the winter as well as hoping they had enough food to last them until spring.

    • ntt1

      exactly ! the first totems were carved using stone age tools and took ages to complete. a solitary mace-like talking stick might be a lifes work. .the first totem carved using trade axes was so deeply and richly carved it exploded as it was hoisted upright and killed several people, above and beyond the unfortunate slave who was used as grease to slide the pole into its position.

  • Dwayne1011

    What is it with these mental midgets and “appropriation” crap? Do they drive cars? Do they live in houses? Do they eat food bought in grocery stores, grown on farms? What a bunch of dicks to call out someone, probably using a cell phone to post it to twitter. Hypocrites.

    • V10_Rob

      Jay Soule, one of the native artists crying about appropriation…

      CBC: “His own work flips Indigenous stereotypes on their head in everything from sports teams to film — taking well-known movie posters and recasting them with titles like The Bride of Frankensioux and Tribe of Dracula. But Soule said borrowing from Indigenous people is a different case altogether.”

      I could waste my breath articulating an argument about how ‘appropriation’ of styles is a core practice by which art has spread and evolved across the globe for centuries, but really the only response SJWs deserve is “F*** off.”

      • Dwayne1011

        It’s always different when “they” do it. And “they” can be any of the crybullies that bring up this shit, and then get in their SUV to drive home.

  • tom_billesley

    The use of the words like potato and tomato is appropriation. We must revert to “earth apple” (pomme de terre) and “love apple” (pomme d’amour).

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    “Chippewa artist Jay Soule says the artistic appropriation is a form of ‘cultural genocide.’ (CBC)”

    I’m glad most of our Indians were killed.

    Also, according to that “Chippewa artist” if a white person recites even so much as an Indian story we have committed a human rights violation.

    • Alain

      The name Jay Soule is cultural appropriation, and may I point out that soule means drunk in French in feminine gender.

    • Watchman

      Your very presence on Canadian or US soil is claimed to be a human rights violation against the descendants of the invaders who arrived before six hundred years ago. Some of these original tribes fought and took over other original tribe’s land within this last six hundred years ago and now claim their conquests as their ‘ancestral’ homes with associated immutable ownership rights.

  • ntt1

    I get this crap every time i carve a totem pole in the manner of north pacific indians, its just a set of rules much like carving ancient egyptian or south seas tikis, the only response is to attack their hypocracy for wearing western garb with western eyeglasses and footwear, and verbally drive them from your work area with vile personal attacks on their ancestry and sexual health.