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Jesse Littlebird

Message for a Bear

Oil, satin paint aerosol and acrylic on raw canvas, 96"h x 60"w, Item No. 21412,

'Message for a Bear’ presents an immense scape of vibrant hues and subtle, enigmatic motifs. The captivating composition presents a vignetted azure background bisected by a burnt umber band intricately detailed with a zig-zagging, stripe pattern. Above and below this distinctive “zip,” vivid vermilion strokes of varying density and intensity stand out like gashes in the deep blue backdrop, imbuing the work with raw, visceral energy.

Explaining this momentous work’s inspiration in Episode 74 of the Blue Rain Gallery Podcast, Jesse Littlebird shares:

“I pull many symbols and motifs from my culture, and my work is referential to art history as well. This composition references a Barnett Newman painting (Onement VI) which is blue and has a vertical line through it. And it’s referential to Picasso’s Blue Period as well, as I was going through my own Blue Period at the time... And the title, “Message for a Bear” references M. Scott Momaday, who was nicknamed ‘The Bear,’ and who was a good friend of my father.”

Through its evocative interplay of color, pattern, and texture, 'Message for a Bear' invites viewers to feel first, and feel deeply, before contemplating the profound meaning within its depths.