PAINTING + MIXED MEDIA
Kevin Red Star’s art is honored throughout Native America for its authenticity. It presents a shining vision of centuries-old Crow (Apsaalooka) culture through the eyes of a thoroughly contemporary consciousness. In the world of museums and private collections, he is equally respected for the content of his unique imagery, for his artistic productivity, and for the enduring value of his work.
Kevin Red Star grew up on the Crow reservation in southern Montana, a member of a highly creative family. He was known as the go-to artist for all school projects. He was chosen to be in the first group of students at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in the late sixties, when the founders personally visited Native villages and reservations nationwide and recruited the most talented youngsters from each. The school provided a learning environment of tribal tradition, world art history, and current trends. Open studios, well stocked with supplies, encouraged individual experimentation and collaboration. Students mined their ancient customs for content, and then created exciting new forms to provide current relevance. Red Star and some of his friends in their graduation class continued their studies at the San Francisco Art Institute before embarking on their careers. They attracted immediate notice in New York and Paris, as well as established art centers throughout the United States. They went on to change the face of modern Indian art.
Above and beyond accuracy, Kevin Red Star’s deep experience is expressed in the color and composition of image after image. Each one is a complete statement in itself; each remains in the mind’s eye long after viewing it. Tipis cluster in close community, their long, graceful poles fanning out to catch the stars and sunbeams. Women gather for ceremonies in richly ornamented clothing. Warriors go forth on proud Appaloosa ponies, their bows and shields at the ready to protect their encampments. In every painting, the subject springs vividly to life, reflecting the mastery of style and technique he has gained over the course of the years.