This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm part-Jewish, and I see people using Jewish images too, but do I care? Heck no, not if it's entertaining like Greedy Jew beer haha. I'm politically incorrect to boot. If someone can't appreciate the beauty here, they should go to another site. That's what tabbed browsing is for.
Oh my god all the 'social justice' shitheads in the comment section make me want to fucking kill myself. Sincerely, someone who has more native American in them than most of, if not all the people making fools of themselves here.
This is a fantastic piece of work. It's like pop art but the colors make it less 'in your face' bold. It's very beautiful and it's perfectly shaded. Not too much detail, but enough to convey the message.
I figure I should explain this for people since some folks seem a little confused about why this image is offensive.
A warbonnet or headdress is a sacred cultural symbol to several groups of Plain Indians that is traditionally reserved for men that have earned the right to wear it. The figure presented in the artist's image is both female and white, so she is not entitled to wearing the headdress. The images of white women wearing warbonnets are really prevalent and problematic and people should take a little time to research and understand why!
White American culture exists as a majority that both oppresses and threatens the cultures of minority groups. Native Americans have faced a history of violence and oppression at the hands of white society and still struggle today for their rights and to preserve their traditions and culture. That is why it is especially offensive to see their sacred symbols used in media, fashion, art, etc in a disrespectful manner.
You might say "but Van, America is a cultural melting pot and we're made up of tons of different cultures. Shouldn't this be the same kind of thing?" The difference is that this is a sacred item and it's from a historically oppressed and threatened culture. It is certainly okay to depict a warbonnet if it is presented respectfully! It is also okay to learn about other cultures, buy art and items from native craftspeople, eat food from different cultures, etc. Just don't mess with things you are not entitled to!
And to address folks who say "well I'm not offended" or "I'm native and I'm not offended", I'm not saying everyone has to be offended. No one can really determine what people should and shouldn't be offended by. However, be respectful of the feelings of others.
wild-wallflowerFeatured By OwnerSep 14, 2012Hobbyist General Artist
i think personally wearing one as a fashion statement yes THAT is offensive but an artistic representation of a headress done as tastefully and respectfully is not. yes it is sacred, yes it is a stereotype, and yes most people don't understand the significance of those problems to native americans but when people freak out over such a minor thing it just puts a negative light on ALL tribes and subcultures and gives idiots an excuse to play down the REAL issues in native communities all over the country. with all the continuing mistreatment of native people and culture an artistic interpretaion of a headress is NOT a big deal. I feel there are a lot of natives that maybe don't understand the REAL issues happening out there and its upsetting to see so much energy be put into such a ridiculous argument. the artist himself is native by blood yet we are talking like he doesn't have preferences. If its how he chooses to express that side of his heritage then that is his deal and no one else has any right to tell him he shouldn't. instaed of jumping all over people respectful education on a headress would go a lot lot farther with breaking the stereotypes i think explaining it was a good idea and i'm glad someone explained it i just felt like adding on my peice (oh and not all native americans look native in the Cherokee Nation they allow for a much lower blood quantum than some other tribes so many look white to most people. my sister and i are clearly cherokee yet my brother is a blue eyed blond kid so even if she appears white don't stereotype what we are supposed to look like )
It's difficult to be aware of the artist's heritage and intentions without context. You'll have to excuse me for not realizing, since I don't know the artist, merely saw the image on the front page and felt it was very similar to a lot of appropriative images in popular culture. Let's just consider this an honest misunderstanding. It happens, especially online.
Plus I don't think anyone is being terrible vitriolic here, from what I see it's being discussed pretty calmly!
I don't think a terrible amount of energy really goes into discussing these issues. Caring about smaller issues doesn't necessarily negate bigger ones! Taking a minute or two to write a comment doesn't render a person incapable of caring about or working to improve other situations (for instance, poverty on reservations, hate crimes, etc). And like I mentioned, it's really up to the individual whether it's really an issue to be offended over. It's not up to us to decide how others should feel and I think it's okay if people want to express themselves. Discussion is good.
As for stereotyping, well, this image is based off of a photo of a model who is (I believe) European, so that's what I mean when I say "a white woman". There's just a lot of images out there of women who have no connection with a native heritage that are wearing the headdress. I oughta know that not all Native people have one typical set of features- I'm Cherokee myself and have a pretty white skin :3
wild-wallflowerFeatured By OwnerSep 14, 2012Hobbyist General Artist
oh yea it has been very tame and i agree discussion is good. i just felt a few people jumped all over a good artist when they could have been more respectful and realized that this was something that a lot of time and energy was put into. its also frustrating when someone completely outside of a culture wants to tell those in the culture that they are offensive to their own culture lol oh and it was nice discussing this with a fellow native especially cherokee like me
Now this is amazing! And I really really support you- against those ones who are trying to sadden your talent with their fury about cultural offensivity. You are an artist- you have your own vision. You can do whatever you want, because this is an expression of your inner world- and all laws of all countries allows the self-expression of your inner feelings. It would be a total war against your inner self if you would stop doing what you do. So just keep on, never mind the haters- there are plenty out there, who has no names and are afraid to tell their words once you meet them in real life. Amazing work. Hugzzzz! Janty
You cannot put standards or hold it to the accuracy of you own perception. Why? Because your perception is your own, the art work is not. Therefore it does not represent you or anything you perceive it to stand for. It stands for what ever the hell the creator meant to be. And the creator did not mean for this to be offensive, so it is not. You made it offensive because you wanted it to be. So be offended in your corner and stop polluting this artists comment section.
I think this picture is gorgeous, yes it is a bit culturally incorrect, but I don't see why it's a big deal. It's an honest mistake, people and artists make them all the time, it's not something to freak out over. Those that are freaking out over it are just bitter and looking for a reason to take their misappropriated rage out on someone.
it is not only incorrect, but also highly offensive. if you cannot see why appropriating, misrepresenting and insulting a culture is not a big deal and that people who speak out against this are bitter, then there is something entirely wrong with you.
it's actually quite simple: women in cultures with warbonnet traditions simply did not wear warbonnets. it was something earned by men who had done and sacrificed very much for their community for the privilege to wear one. you don't simply just get to put one on bcos it's pretty and you think you look cute.
it is sacred. it is cultural tradition. it is not 'to each his own.'
I understand how you could be offended by someone who purposefully set out to be offensive.
However, considering the earlier comments, it is obvious the artist was not so deeply familiar with the cultural significance of headdresses, or warbonnets, what have you.
Considering the fact that anything other than the simple creation of, to a degree, modern art, was entirely unintentional, I do not understand how getting upset with the artist for being offensive is in any way beneficial. I understand you love and respect this culture, and you want to protect it from being insulted and disrespected. I too share this sentiment, for I have taken a year of my two years in college thus far simply to study cultures, majoring ultimately in Native American studies due to the fact that my professor had developed a close kinship with a group native to southern California over the course of over two decades, and has a lot to share on the subject. I understand the beauty, and to a degree, the spiritual significance, of the various symbols used by Native American cultures.
What I meant by “mental hoops,” well, let me quote, for using that term alone sounds incredibly condescending and I knew when I wrote it that it could be taken that way if read any other way than how I intended (much the same as this particular art piece, in its own regard).
“I literally don't understand the mental hoops one would have to jump through to be offended by this image alone.”
Perhaps I could have accentuated in some way the words, “this image alone,” for to be offended by this image alone without any knowledge of the cultural significance or meaning behind any object used therein is, as I believe you will agree, preposterous. We see a female of the species Homo sapiens sapiens wearing an adornment composed of what appears to be some cloth and feathers. The image is stylistically composed of various shades of a paint effect in a stenciling fashion. That is the image. There is no disputing that.
That is why I said it would take mental hoops to be offended by the image alone, because that’s all it is. However, we each view art not as an unbiased machine, but as a human being, each with their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You, obviously, are versed in Native American culture, and have respect enough for it to be defensive of it.
I believe your defensiveness, in this circumstance, though noble in concept, is lost. This is because the artist did not mean offense in the creation nor sharing of the art. Is the art factually inaccurate? Yes it is! Before you commented, I thought to myself it would be unlikely that a female would be allowed to wear such an ornament in most, if not all, cultures which had such a thing. You have indeed verified this, and thank you for the information, because it is interesting and useful.
However, there was still no offense meant. And now, as the other comments before will also imply, the artist is very aware that portraying this particular ornament in such a way can be taken offensively.
I will now say what will likely be most disputed of all: the artist had, and still has, every right to present this piece of art to the public, regardless of how it is received. Even, in fact, had the artist meant any form of offense by this piece, he/she could still present it to the public! This is because, though it is rude to be disrespectful, it is not against the law, not even the rules of this artistic website to my knowledge (do please correct me if I’m wrong; I like to know these things). It is, of course, against the rules to in any way commit “hate” work against a specific group or culture, as this falls under the law based category of racial hate acts. If the art had, in some way, been offensive to an entire racial group, likely intentionally, I am certain that could be dealt with legally, as that does breach some laws.
However, as I’ve said before, the offense that you feel was not intended by the artist. That offense? That is all your responsibility for feeling, as you care for things signified in the piece.
In conclusion to this longwinded and drawn out response, I understand how you could be offended, and I respect your intentions to preserve Native American cultural integrity. However, I believe so long as the action does not breach any laws/rules/what have you on the subject, each person has the right to portray whatever they want artistically, be it offending or not. They may be regarded negatively, even scorned or hated for their actions, but so long as it does not cross any law-related boundary, it is still very much allowed and, in my opinion, cannot be reasonably stopped or taken away due to the right that is freedom of speech, according to the Declaration of Independence (which I am going by due to the artist’s current country of residence): "The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law." As well, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." And finally: looking at the final title of this piece, “Not a Headdress,” it’s obvious that no harm was meant by the image because the artist is trying to defend themselves by stating the object is not even the ceremonial piece to which many have become enflamed over. Does it look like one? Probably. But, it’s art, and honestly, the artist can make it look like whatever they want it to, and call it whatever they feel like, and as long as that does not break any laws, that is all in their right.
I hope you are not further offended. I respect you whether you are or not. I respect your beliefs and your cultural concepts. I respect your right to free speech and expression. I respect your right to be offended by anything you deem fit. I respect your noble cause to defend something you love and respect. I respect you.
I wish you nothing but wellness and peace and hope to call you friend. ♥
this is sooper kool. you got some mad skills, brah excuse my language. I'M PRACTICING SOUNDING NOTHING LIKE MY MYSELF. the other work in your note, that's senju-hime, right? i love your take on that picture.
It may not be "meant" to be offensive, but perhaps you could consider reading up on why this /is/ offensive? You're very talented, but when dealing with other cultures, it's always good to read up on their reserved symbols and correct representation of their pieces.
wild-wallflowerFeatured By OwnerSep 14, 2012Hobbyist General Artist
well i think it is absolutely beautiful and i think a few fellow natives are being a bit anal. yes, maybe it isn't culturally correct but calling it offensive is a bit of a stretch. modern art nowadays is a lot of mixing and matching and personal interpretations of other cultures and i personally find half naked all sexed up native women much more offensive than throwing a headress on a woman. i can't wait to see how it comes out!!!
Thank you very much. I certainly consider myself part native American and never meant disrespect by this piece. I know what you mean and can totally agree. I guess, I have done images of many races and people, but I feel I always give respect to the images and art when I do it. And that is important. Thank you