Culture cannot be contained as it unfolds. The art of Nicholas Galanin enters this stream at many different points, looking backwards, looking forwards, generating its own sound and motion. Inspired by generations of Tlingit creativity and contribute to this wealthy conversation through active curiosity. There is no room in this exploration for the tired prescriptions of the "Indian Art World" and its institutions. Through creating, Galanin assert his freedom.
Concepts drive his mediums. Galanin draws upon a wide range of indigenous technologies and global materials when exploring an idea. Adaptation and resistance, lies and exaggeration, dreams, memories and poetic views of daily life--these themes recur in his work, taking form through sound, texture, and image. Inert objects spring back to life; kitsch is reclaimed as cultural renewal; dancers merge ritual and rap. Galanin is most comfortable not knowing what form his next idea will take, a boundless creative path of concept-based motion.
Born in Sitka, Alaska, Nicholas Galanin has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and the course of his practice. Having trained extensively in ‘traditional’ as well as ‘contemporary’ approaches to art. Galanin pursues them both in parallel paths. His stunning bodies of work simultaneously preserve his culture and explore new perceptual territory. Galanin studied at the London Guildhall University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with honors in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing, and received his Master of Arts degree in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University in New Zealand.
Valuing his culture as highly as his individuality, Galanin has created an unusual path for himself. He deftly navigates “the politics of cultural representation”, as he balances both ends of the aesthetic spectrum. With a fiercely independent spirit, Galanin has found the best of both worlds and has given them back to his audience in stunning form.
For further information on Nicholas, head over to his website at http://galan.in
*all text courtesy of the artist