Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Copper Thunderbird": Norval Morrisseau

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Video compiled by "Mudhooks"

About this video:

"Norval Morrisseau is the creator of the Woodland School of Native art, a style which interweaves traditional aboriginal themes, iconography and beliefs in a unique artistic style. Norval Morrisseau, himself, was acknowledged as Grand Shaman of the Ojibway and fought against both disapproval from the Native community (for his use of spiritual themes) and bias in the traditional art community. His perseverance lead him to become the first Aboriginal artist to have a solo show at the National Gallery of Canada*, to receive the Order of Canada, and to be bestowed with an honorary Doctorate from McMaster University.

He has influenced three generations of Aboriginal artists.

* His solo show at the NGC is historic and heralded the "breaking of the race-barrier" at this institution. The NGC holds many works of art by aboriginal people, including the largest collection of Inuit sculptures in Canada. However, they have traditionally not been seen as equal in artistic merit to European art. Even the works of African American artists and artists from Asia have been shown along side that of "European" (ie "white" artists) while Native artists and their works have been sidelined, more considered for anthropological value that their true artistic merit.

Even while Morrisseau was accepted as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, the National Gallery was deferring his art to the Museum of Civilization."

"Mudhooks"

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The author of this compilation placed several comments on "You Tube":

-"It is interesting that, despite it being a very simplistic style, there are only a few artists who are able to make it so powerful. Even in something as basic as a pair of baby birds, Norval managed to give them such personality and spirit." ;

-"Norval was the quintessential "self-destructive genius". On one hand, he was a self-taught master and a shaman with deep insight into the spiritual world of his people... on the other, an alcoholic who, at one point, lived on the streets selling doodles for a few dollars for booze. He always said that the alcohol gave him his visions...";

-"While he was living on the streets the CBC, I believe it was, did a documentary on his life and unfortunately chose to air a very degrading scene of him being hauled off the streets by his friends, pants falling off him, sick... it was offensive. I wrote a letter of protest saying that is was an indignity that no human being deserved when they chose to air that segment. I am still sickened by the callousness."

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Notes: 2nd painting (in video) has to be rotated 90 degrees CW while 42nd painting is to be mirrored about vertical axis to view correctly; 35th painting titled "Togetherness" (18"x15", 1978) is an original work of the renowned Anishnaabe artist Roy Thomas (1949-2004).

* "You Tube" presentation

* To view all "You Tube" presentations on the NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG click HERE.

7 comments:

Bryant Ross said...

I understand that you have made this video of paintings in homage to Norval Morrisseau. And I would respect that if you had consulted me about the use of my pictures in it. Many of the paintings pictured and all of the photos of Norval are from my web site. Although I am very free with the use of these pictures I do not want them associated with many of the paintings used in your montage. It clearly states on my web site that the pictures can not be used without permission.
This montage should be titled "Spot the real Morrisseaus". By my count there are at lest 50 paintings of questionable quaility that should not be included. If you are of open mind then I ask you to have a look at the video again. It is clear to me that many of these paintings are not of Norval's hand. I really do not understand why many intelligent people can not see this. Morrisseau himself dis-avowed many of these paintings in interviews before his death. Should you believe self-professed experts or the Man himself?
Norval always told me that he was a Shaman and that art was just something that he did to get by on this earthly level. But his painting contains power that you can see and feel. Look at this video collection with a critical mind. See them. Feel them
Bryant Ross - coghlanart.com

Spirit Walker said...

Hi Bryant,

I have not compiled the video - "Mudhooks" did it.

I would like you to list those approx. 50 paintings of questionable quaility that should not be included. Please, make a listing of paintings by number in order of appearance. The public would like to know which paintings you consider to be of "questionable quaility"...

Thanks Bryant

Spirit Walker said...

Bryant, I am sceptical that you will provide list of those approx. 50 paintings of questionable quaility that should not be included in video compiled by "Mudhooks".

You posted on your Website about NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG that "There is a new blog that is on the web. It presently is full of negative energy, some of it directed at me. This is mostly by people trying to legitimize paintings of questionable quaility.
Because I seek the truth, I can take the heat."

Let me see if you can handle this kind of heat and prove me wrong.

Thanks,

Bryant Ross said...

My previous posting was directed to Mudhooks. Spiritwalker is the blog master but he should not think that every thing is directed at him. As blog master, he should aid others in their postings and try not to inject so much of his own agenda into it.
For some reason the video is not working properly on my computer. Only the first 7 or 8 pictures come up. Suffice to say that the first painting that I would question is #5. It is not needed to list them all by number as you can see for your self. How many can you count that are like #5?
When I can get this video working properly I will post my count.
Cheers

Spirit Walker said...

Hi Mr. Ross,

You wrote: "As blog master, he should aid others in their postings and try not to inject so much of his own agenda into it.
For some reason the video is not working properly on my computer. Only the first 7 or 8 pictures come up. Suffice to say that the first painting that I would question is #5. It is not needed to list them all by number as you can see for your self. How many can you count that are like #5?
When I can get this video working properly I will post my count."

I am not injecting my own agenda in assisting others I am just spreading the truth about Norval Morrisseau. What kind of truth are you spreading?

Also, I am surprised that your video is suddenly not working and you were able to spot approx. 50 paintings "of questionable quaility" on your computer.

Please, provide me with info that others would like to see.

Thanks Bryant.

Anonymous said...

If you were to count the number of paintings that have the same qualities as number 5 - then Bryant Ross is correct. There are approximately 50 paintings of this quality in the video (primarly painting number 50 to almost 80 would be questionable to Mr. Ross).

The question here should not be asking Mr. Ross to give us numbers of the ones that are fake but asking him to give us his comments and direction on why he sees them as fakes. He has made a very bold statement claiming that number 5 is a fake and that there are about 49 other fakes shown. This is a bold statement for someone to openly make since when you watch the video for paintings that resemble number 5 it includes a number of paintings that have been offered or are currently being offered by respected Morrisseau dealers!

Good for you for making a bold statement but what in your opinion makes it fake painting? Our perhaps is there a School of Morrisseau that these belong to? Even Christian Morrisseau openly comments on his website that his father paid him to do backgrounds of his paintings...is this a 100% true Morrisseau that is completely executed by the artist himself or is it from the School of Morrisseau since other hands were involved (not making it 100% fake but of a different calibre?)

Anonymous said...

looks like a lot of cut and paste from legit web sites, with a bunch of .... mostly in the middle. if you can't see it for what it is. there is no point to this debate, as some just can"t, or won't see the light.
this is my last posting on this blog.
look at the quality of the work my good man...

good bye and good luck.