Levi Nelson

Region: MFA Annual

Website: https://levinelson.ca

City / State: New York, NY

Through oil painting and mixed media works on canvas, I am interested in exploring issues of Indigeneity and the contemporary Indigenous experience as it relates to the Western world. As a First Nations person from Canada, I am aware that oil painting is a European tradition in the arts. This informs my practice as I include traditional elements of Canadian Aboriginal culture, or—as we are more widely known here in the United States—the Native American or American Indian.

I am both fascinated with and appalled by American Indian stereotypes, and I often borrow the signifying vernacular from the plethora of typecast imagery depicting my people that stems from the media, advertisements, sports team logos, and throughout art history. I fuse traditional motifs from Indigenous culture with a Western understanding of art historical association to speak about my experience as it communicates to a larger Western audience.