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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Timothy Tate Nevaquaya

As soon as Tim walked into Blues Alley with his huge painting of Quanah Parker, I knew we would be buds. But he was such a kind, gentle, humble man, it took an afternoon on the Internet to really appreciate whom I had just met. Thanks again to Tim and Eleanor for their gracious and inspiring presentation. And here is just a tiny part of what I learned about this emerging artist...

This artist was born into a family legacy of Native American art and music. Tim’s father, Doc Tate Nevaquaya, was a full-blood Comanche and a leader in the Native American Renaissance in the mid-Twentieth Century. He was a renowned flutist and flute maker and world traveled artist who was credited with reviving Native American flute music. His life was full of honors and personal achievement, and he passed down his artistic passion to his four sons, who faithfully preserve their family legacy.

Tim was not only born into a family with great talent, but one of Faith and intense pride in their tribal heritage. His music and his art reveal this pride, this ancient, instinctive belonging, to everything Comanche. Once famous as the “Lords of the Plains,” many Comanches focused that power, intelligence and confidence into modern endeavors, and Tim Nevaquaya’s art is a good example of how the word Comanche can be synonymous with excellence.

Like his father, Tim makes flutes, and plays them with haunting authenticity. He and his brothers made a CD in tribute to their father’s music, and several of them paint as well. But like his father, who entered creative opportunity like a man with a mission, Tim has made an extraordinary step in artistic development. Tim broke away from the traditional, pastel, two-dimensional Native American painting style, which has dutifully met the expectations of art lovers for decades. He has forged a new style for himself, one with the primary colors of Comanche beadwork, and with the symbols and images of his people, but interpreted through a metaphysical , expressionist sensitivity.

In other words, Tim is an artist that paints within the visual language of traditional Comanche art, but also one that uses paint in a “painterly” style, like any modern artist. The term in art talk is impasto. Using a palette knife with virtuosity, he creates textures and effects rarely seen on Native American works, often enhancing the spiritual dynamics of his paintings to new levels. The juxtaposition of such basic icons, such as tipis and warriors, rendered in primary colors, a la abstract expressionism, gives his art a classic, timeless, exciting aura, which is sure to make his work reach the status of not only a great Comanche artist, but a great American artist.

Note: This blog about Tim has been so well received, and visited upon, I have to ask, did you find what you were looking for? PLEASE Leave a comment and let me know your response to this article!


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