A Tribute To Nak´waxda´xw Kwakwaka'wakw
Chief Willie ‘Smoky-Top’ Seaweed
Great Canadian Artists like Jack Shadbolt and Emily Carr (right) were very much inspired by northwest coast First Nations cultures and art. The influence is clearly reflected within their unique styles of painting First Nations totems and masks as subjects for their work.
Danny Cain, a self taught visual artist and carver, was also inspired by the northwest coast First Nations culture and art. Danny had the uniquely rare privilege to learn First Nations culture, art and carving from teacher Kwakwaka'wakw master carver, Thomas Bruce, from Alert Bay, BC.
Although Danny carved for galleries and collectors for nearly twenty years, he prefers painting. In the mid 90's Danny chose to paint a collection of mask portraitures in a style known as Realism. Painting masks as portraitures has never been performed anywhere in North America or elsewhere.
"Painting mask portraits is my way of bringing these dramatically colourful masks to life on canvas and in print for others to enjoy who otherwise only have a chance to visit a museum to view these exquisitely carved masterpieces."
Many of the masks can be seen in Museums in Canada and the USA. For example, the Gikiwe Dzunkwa / Chief's Wild Woman Mask can be seen at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of BC (UBC).