This diary is written by Aji and Wings.
One of the great advantages of the Kos Katalogue is that it provides both buyers and sellers a chance to do business with fellow liberals who support progressive values and causes. For artists, this is doubly significant: Like all else in life, art is inherently political. Oh, I know artists who insist that they are not involved in politics in any way, but scratch the surface of their work by more than a millimeter, and you'll find clear political statements, whether they're conscious of them or not.
In Wings's case, his art has always been political, even when he doesn't think of it in partisan terms. For Indians especially, our work — in any medium — is necessarily an expression of identity and culture (even among those who expressly reject slapping a "Native" label on any particular work; its absence tells its own story, whatever the context). But Wings will tell you himself that his own art is, and has always been, a soul-deep manifestation of his own identity as a Native man, both inspired and inspirited by his people's culture and history. In recent years, his work has become more overtly political, particularly on select fronts: his opposition to racism and other forms of bigotry, and to all forms of appropriation and cultural theft (as made clear yet again last Monday in his public statement, posted here as well as on his own site); his rejection of violence, particularly that directed toward women and children; his support for the health, harmony, and well-being of our peoples; and his support for the protection of Mother Earth. As an established artist in his own right, Wings has been afforded a platform to which many don't have access. Recently, he has renewed his intent to use that platform, to use his voice and reach as a Native artist, to press for positive change and growth on these and other fronts.
Of course, to do so, the lights must remain on and other obligations must be met, and so while it would be gratifying to be able to produce his art purely for its own sake, with no thought to having to sell it, it's impossible in today's economic environment. And so we're fortunate to have this opportunity to make his art available to people who share our personal and political values.
As many of you know, we upgraded Wings's Web site over the summer and relaunched it on a whole new platform. It's much larger, and far more flexible; we're able to provide better descriptions and better navigation for visitors. We've also been able to expand it far beyond its previous constraints. In addition to the wide array of art on offer, the site now includes The NDN Silver Blog, where I post daily. usually, it's an opportunity to feature a particular piece or set of pieces, but some days are built around themes, and it gives me an opportunity to showcase Native art in a breadth and depth not available to us before. We hope you'll visit it occasionally, and that it at least occasionally provides you with valuable information.
For now, as we head into the holidays, we have some new and very exciting pieces to show you, both Wings's own work and that of other Native artists whose work we carry. Over the jump, you'll find some incredible showpieces among his silverwork, examples of his photography (including work from his one-man show at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe this spring), and a host of work from other artists, including fetishes, leatherwork, pottery, sculpture, and other items, many of which are very modestly priced), as well as links to much more. And in the weeks to come, he'll have a variety of new work available, particularly smaller popular items like earrings.