One Gray Hair - Frye Art Museum


First of all, this exhibit is a must see. It runs at the Frye until February 4th.

I was not familiar with Alison Marks before this show, but I am now. Marks is a Tlinglet artist whose work examines how Northwest Coast native or Salish style has been basically appropriated into western culture, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

The work all incorporates her style of native design executed in some form of modern display. In the above photo I stand in front of a large set of vinyl cut wings adhered to the wall. The vinyl is a holographic surface so it shifts color, adding to the "tackiness" of the idea.

While the outline and layout of this bear design is traditions, the fill is anything but.

A close up photo show that he fill of the bear is this teddy bear motif repeated.

Another play on the show's theme are these carvings embellished in white paint and tacky fake fur.

This is my favorite piece in the show. In fact this is one of my favorite sculpture/pieces period, anywhere, anytime. It is smart, clever and most perfectly satirical. A "totem pole" is created from a blower, motor and nylon, much like a yard style Christmas display or used car lot "waving man" to totally trivialize the image and symbolism of the totem. I don't profess to know the deep cultural significance of totem poles to the Tlinglet people, but I can see the humor and cleverness. If I were that type of collector, I'd buy it.

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