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King Kuka

Blackfeet
(1946-2004)
King Kuka

King Kuka was born and raised on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. He was a full-time professional artist whose art has been seen internationally. He worked in watercolors, oils, bronze, steel, silver and gold. His art reflected his dedication to native people and their spirituality. King earned a bachelor degree of fine arts at the University of Montana, Missoula. He studied mainly painting and sculpture. His wife and five children are active in the arts as well.

Art was not a simple pastime, but the spiritual essence of his life. A strong creative mind rises up to meet challenges and so it was with King. In the time before settlers, vision quests were made by his people. Kuka’s quest was made, and he found his creative spirit. Kuka believed in dreams, the vision kid, the night dreams and the distant one. “Dreams are invisible voices calling me, sustaining me, carrying me in difficult times,” he said.

“Art should be an evolutionary process where the artist perfects the process as well as his product. I sold my first work while in high school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since that time my work has changed, I have discovered new media, and I have tried to excel at what I do. I try to produce the most professional art that I am capable of doing,” (King Kuka, 1988)

“By splattering and working wet on wet, I diffuse the subject so the result is more ghostly, more an apparition, a hallucination, a dream than a hard edge subject with lots of slick detail and void of any thing for viewers’ imagination. I am not painting a rider on a horse. I’m painting color and texture and Indian spiritualism with a mystical ethereal look.” (King Kuka, 1992)

 

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