Grantee: Jim Denomie
Native Citizenship: Ojibwe
Location: Shafer, Minn.
Award: 2015 NACF Regional Artist Fellowship
Discipline: Visual Arts
Web Site: jimdenomie.com
Denomie extracts from the depths of his vivid imagination and subconscious to create his precocious paintings. He has an unfiltered creative process—inspired by past and current events, experiences, history, stories and dreams—that lends to his topic, theme or subject. The result is a captivating, unsuppressed riveting and, at points, audacious vignettes of symbols, triggers and notions that can mesmerize the viewer.
Denomie’s paintings possess multiple perspectives of blatant and potent depictions that can be appalling, appealing, ironic, iconic, distasteful and humorous all in a single image or viewed as a whole—either way; his work reveals a poignant picture. His color choices add a whole other dimension and intrigue to his work. Always trying to discover something new or different with each painting, Denomie plays constantly with different color scenarios, compositional moves and painting techniques.
He is always keen to new subject matter. Some subject matter may include, but is not limited to, social, political, and historical narrative, creative portraiture, dreams and eroticism. As multifaceted as his paintings, Denomie also invigorates his creativeness with found objects for mask making, printmaking, ink drawings, mixed media oil stick and paint on paper, and photography. Denomie is bursting with many ideas, some of them already in the works, and some he is yet to begin.
Denomie’s works—one of too few Native artists—have reached a caliber of being studied in the larger mainstream art world; and therefore is penetrating further a path that many more contemporary Native artists may follow. The Regional Artist Fellowship will provide Denomie an opportunity to create new works from recent research. He also will continue work for a new exhibition, and plans to take the time to experiment and explore new scales of work and themes.
I tell stories that are completely of my own creation.
~ Jim Denomie