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Jesse Littlebird

The Water Bottle Prophecy

Oil, satin paint and acrylic on raw canvas, 96"h x 60"w, Item No. 21417,

In “The Water Bottle Prophecy”, Jesse Littlebird portrays two Native women—one balancing a water pot on her head, the other holding hers in hand. The composition's upper half is dominated by a mottled maroon sky, separated from the dark slate blue foreground by a rippling bar of vibrant red and a stripe of bright turquoise that serve as the riverine horizon.

Explaining the painting’s title and inspiration during his interview in Episode 74 of the Blue Rain Gallery Podcast, Littlebird shares, “This piece was inspired both by a historical photo of Taoseño Pueblo women carrying pots on their head, and by a story I grew up with. Old-timers say that back in the day, people were so thirsty they always carried their water with them… We used to have a dedicated process of going down to the river, collecting the water in these pots, and bringing it up. Now we just turn on the faucet, or drink from bottled water.”

Describing the details of this large format composition, the artist says, “This painting is mixed media. The line across is spray paint, the figures are in oil paint, below is matte house paint, and above is satiny oil paint.”