Arthur Amiotte (Oglala Lakota (Sioux), born 1942),
New Horse Power in 1913
acrylic and collage on canvas, 18 x 24 in.; 45.72 x 60.96 cm
Museum purchase, 1997.26
Amiotte has worked in a variety of media, but collage-paintings like these have been his principal form of expression for several years. The subjects are drawn from his cultural heritage (Lakota) and his personal family history. The collage elements include real and laser-copied historic advertisements, photographs, and other items (the American flag is a party favor with added paint). The Indian people are painted in a style adapted from that of Koba (1848–1880), a famed Kiowa ledger artist.
This delightful composition, like many of Amiotte’s collage paintings, is infused with gently barbed humor. It refers to the early acquisition of cars by Plains people — sometimes in advance of (and thus provoking the envy of) their white neighbors.