Kent Monkman’s North End
The ninth and last chapter of Kent Monkman’s acclaimed Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, Urban Res, depicts contemporary North End backdrops in the artist’s hometown. Monkman’s Winnipeg is populated with tattooed Renaissance angels, ancestors visiting from the spirit world – observing and waiting, medicine men in beaded sports jerseys, a spirit buffalo herd, and, of course, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle – Monkman’s genderfluid, supernatural, shape-shifting alter ego.
CBC Indigenous’ Lenard Monkman took the artist back to some of the North End locations depicted in Urban Res. Read the in-depth interview, and see the real-life inspiration for paintings Le Petit déjeuner sur l’herbe and The Deposition, which was anonymously donated to the WAG as a gift to our community.
The following is the Urban Res excerpt from the memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, published by the Art Museum of Toronto:
“Here in the cities, my people struggle. We have no space, we cannot see the horizon or feel the wind. Crowded into ghettos in these prairie and northern towns, broken and bleeding from the wounds of our parents and grandparents, we may as well be surrounded by the same concrete walls of the prisons. Too many of my sisters are stripped of their honour and grace by men who are afraid of the power of the feminine. I try to bring hope, some laughter, a respite from the crushing weight of poverty and violence that keeps my people from seeing the sacred within themselves. I show them who they truly are, my beauty reflecting theirs, but only some have eyes to see. The others cannot see our magic, they try to tell us it is not there, but they do not understand the power of Miss Chief and they sorely underestimate the resilience of our people.”
Click here to read more from Miss Chief’s journey.
Video courtesy of CBC Indigenous