8 Contemporary Native American Artists Challenging the Way We Look at American History
by Jillian Bard - November 24, 2017: Artspace
"In his vibrant, richly saturated, satirical graphic realist paintings, artist Frank Buffalo Hyde (b. 1974) juxtaposes 21st century pop culture signifiers with symbols and themes from his Native American heritage. Born in Santa Fe and raised on his mother’s Onandaga reservation, Hyde seeks to dismantle stereotypes of Native American culture with his work. He takes imagery from pop culture, politics, films, television shows, etc. and overlaps the references to replicate what he refers to as “the collective unconsciousness of the 21st century. In his painting series “In-Appropriate,” Hyde paints satirical portraits of people wearing “jacked-up portrayal(s) of Native American imagery” that are at once funny and revolting. Hyde overtly defies the aesthetics of what people might think Native American art “should” look like, including subjects such as selfie-sticks, iPhones, cheerleaders and plates of buffalo wings. His narrative series I-Witness Culture explores life as a Native American in the digital age. Hyde’s work addresses contemporary America’s fear of the “other,” and the tendency to homogenize indigenous cultures to counter this fear (which ultimately materializes as racist mascots and costumes). Hyde’s work has been exhibited internationally, and he was artist-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe. "
FRANK BUFFALO HYDE
- November 15, 2017: Wall Street International
"Frank Buffalo Hyde grew up surrounded by traditional Native American art. He had artists on both sides of his family and his parents met at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). From an early age, however, Hyde knew he wanted to make his own mark.
When he did eventually decide to embrace the visual art world — after playing in a rock band and trying his hand at writing — it was with the overt intention of making his audience think twice about the way they see Native Americans. Case in point: Hyde called his first show at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is the Buffalo Show and filled it not only with his namesake animals, but with buffalo soldiers, the character Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, and an image of buffalo wings. Hyde’s satirical, pop-culture-soaked, take-no-prisoners approach puts him in a unique place among Native artists. He has called out celebrities like Gwen Stefani for wearing feathers and depicted traditional ceremonies complete with a row of mobile phones caught in the act of documenting — or perhaps stealing — the dancers’ images. He knows his work will make some audience members uncomfortable. In fact, he hopes it does.
In the Meta series, a group of paintings Hyde developed as an artist in residence at Art Ventures Napa Valley Studio over the summer of 2017 — he layers symbols of traditional Native American culture with symbols of modern technology. A Native chief wears a virtual reality headset, drones carry single feathers, and a human skull appears on a mobile phone held up by a selfie stick. The latter is a comment on the rising number of injuries and deaths that have occurred in Yellowstone National Park when tourists get too close to wild animals for the sake of photographs, and the way digital reality often gets in the way of our innate awareness in nature. At the Art Ventures residence Hyde was free to explore new ideas. He engaged with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s infamous Untitled series — after rejecting an earlier comparison to the artist in art school. In Red Head, Hyde responded Basquiat in an exploration of the parallels between the treatment of Native Americans and African Americans in contemporary America."
Frank Buffalo Hyde: I-Witness Culture
Review by Jon Carver - April 1, 2017: The Magazine
"Frank Buffalo Hyde’s brand/blend/bundle of Pop-Surrealism, graffiti, and most of all, gestural figuration puts him next in line to claim the legacy of postmodern Indian painters like Rick Bartow, T.C. Cannon, and the great Fritz Scholder, who have generously offered indigenous cultural awareness and expression to Santa Fe’s artworld and beyond. Buffalo Hyde is up to it again, in an exhibition that is as elegantly presented as the pictures are rough and tumble. A riotous pastiche quality that recalls Sigmar Polke and Neo Rauch rollicks in the variety of paint application, and an irreverence rivaling the best of Warhol or Francis Bacon (perfect reverence knows no reverence) bounces off the walls in eye-candy colors saturated in oh-so-subtle and/or slammed-home sardonic meanings. Buffalo Hyde’s eagle eye for irony means that the paintings themselves laugh in your inner ear with an arch and dark sense of humor. They go from droll guffaw, to tongue deep in cheek, to poking you in the eye in a matter of seconds."
Where the Buffalo Roam
By Kathaleen Roberts / Journal Staff Writer on Fri, Apr 20, 2012
Frank Buffalo Hyde grew up on the Onondaga Reservation watching a bustling herd of bison in a field known as the tribal make-out spot.
When Hyde was a teenager, members spoke about the area with a wink and a knowing smirk.
But the beasts made a strong impression on the budding artist.
“I remember how huge and powerful and fast and agile they are,” the artist said from his Santa Fe home studio.
To honor that memory, as well as the grandparent who gave him his middle name, Hyde is opening “From Bison to Buffalo Wings: Frank Buffalo Hyde Celebrates the Beast” at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.
Inspired by the animal as an icon, deity, logo, messenger and witness, Hyde explores this powerful symbol in a series of new paintings and mixed-media sculptures. From near extinction at the turn of the last century to a popular (and healthy) beef alternative in this millennium carouseling to Buffalo Bill and buffalo wings, Hyde moved from his customary 30-inch base to large acrylic portraits, imbued with his own sly humor.
“Buffalo Bill No. 2″ depicts the serial killer from “Silence of the Lambs,” a pop culture image miles away from the stereotypical thundering herd on the plains. Buffalo Hyde pairs the winged image with a gold buffalo nickel stamped with the hackneyed “noble savage,” complete with feathers and braids.
“This represents America in all its frailty and wanting to be accepted,” he said.
“Buffalo Bill No. 1″ shows the Wild West figure in full regalia. The Buffalo Bills’ football logo offers an ironic counterpoint leaping over a plate of buffalo wings.
“Everyone reveres him,” Hyde said of the Wild West showman. “But Native Americans don’t always see him that way. He was sort of an opportunist. He exterminated the buffalo. He’d take (hunting) parties and kill up to 300.”
The artist’s painting of a buffalo burger features the entire animal — from head to tail — sandwiched between both bun halves and the usual condiments. Friends had chided him for past depictions that resembled ordinary hamburgers.
“I made it very clear in this piece” that it represented buffalo meat, he said. “It speaks well to our culture — how we want instant gratification.”
A cottony skyscape with a partially turned buffalo head grew from a residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts last year. New Mexico’s turquoise skies have invaded local galleries to the point of cliché, Buffalo Hyde acknowledged.
Instead, he portrayed his childhood buffalo field with a flying saucer hovering over the Cartman character from “South Park.”
“I put the mother ship in there because it could be present-day; it could be 500 years in the future,” Hyde said. The ship also serves as a reference for the notorious “South Park” episode involving anal probes.
“Sometimes you have to push what people expect of a Native American artist,” he explained. “They want things to be sweet and pretty and saccharin to relieve their guilt.”
A portrait of a buffalo soldier references both the historic role of African Americans in the West, as well as the Bob Marley song, Buffalo Hyde added.
“We used to sing it over and over because of my name.”
While the commercial market might cry out for a style more reflective of feathers and fringe, Hyde refuses to be typecast as a Native artist. His influences were Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as Matisse.
His father, famed sculptor Doug Hyde, showed him the business of becoming an artist. He grew up on gallery openings.
“He is to this day a down-to-earth person” despite that fame, his son said. “He does everything with respect.
“I chose to differentiate myself from (sculpture). I didn’t need to copy him or glean off his hard work.”
Today Hyde’s work hangs in the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, the collections of Amy Ray and Emily Sailors, Sherman Alexie and Wes Studi, as well as Bruce King and Mateo Romero. His work can be found in Santa Fe’s Legends Gallery.
If you go
WHAT: “From Bison to Buffalo Wings, Artist Frank Buffalo Hyde Celebrates the Beast”
WHEN: Through July 31
WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place
COST: $10 general; $5 seniors (62+), students and New Mexico residents. Free to members, Native people, veterans and their families.
CONTACT: 983-1666 or see www.iaia.edu/museum
Frank Buffalo Hyde Artist In Residence at Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Visit with the Artist at the Open Studio on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at MoCNA for an afternoon of programming.
Native Modern Art and Design Exhibit: Against the Grain
May 7, 2010 6pm-9pm - 143 Lincoln Ave. Santa Fe
Featuring work by Frank Buffalo Hyde, Sarah Sense, Rhett Lynch, America Meredith, Marla Allison. In conjunction with Legends Santa Fe, SWAIA announces a groundbreaking collaboration that will create a year-round residence for the Santa Fe Indian Market. Through a designed schedule of exhibitions, the partners will seek unique and previously untested ways of bringing artists together from across cultures, media and themes. The shows, like Indian Market, will be at once traditional and brimming with innovative ideas.
SHOW SCHEDULE 2010
MAJOR FUNDRAISING EXHIBITION: STONE QUARRY HILL ART PARK
SUNDAY 11 APRIL 2010, Cazenovia, New York
NATIVE MODERN: AGAINST THE GRAIN
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2010, Legends Santa Fe, New Mexico
WALKING WITH US
FRIDAY 4 JUNE 2010, Concord, New Hampshire
FRANK BUFFALO HYDE: SOLO EXHIBITION
FRIDAY 16 JULY 2010, Legends Santa Fe, New Mexico
Continuum - Wheelwright Exhibtion Opening November 14, 2009
Continuum: Recent Works by Frank Buffalo Hyde Frank Buffalo Hyde is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts. His paintings reflect contemporary images that convey the reality of the Native American condition. The exhibit will be on display in the FRIENDS and downstairs galleries November 14, 2009, through April 4, 2010. We invite you to attend our public opening on Saturday, November 14, 2009, from 5 to 7 p.m. The artist will be present to answer questions about his work.
Northwest Coast Journal