This original design is a great example of Louie's unique merger of contemporary themes and traditional Coast Salish design. Here Blue Jay is captured at the moment he finally lets go of the trivial matters associated with his daily grind - a moment that sometimes takes human beings 3 or 4 days of vacation to achieve. This print reminds us of the importance of self-care.
The salmon is a primary staple of both the diet and culture of Coast Salish and Northwest Native people.
This particular design was inspired by a fishing trip to the Chehalis River in British Columbia. Louie’s Uncle Pete hooked a giant coho. Instead of trying to swim away downstream, the salmon dove down toward the bottom of the river. Although Uncle Pete ultimately brought the coho in, its unexpected dive was an image that stuck with Louie, and this piece was one of his first explorations into merging spray paint with Coast Salish designs. The dynamic motion and materials used are characteristic of Louie’s aesthetic that seamlessly blends the contemporary and traditional.
This is a fine art print of Louie Gong's most recent painting. The highly detailed original painting was created in early 2017 with wood dye, spray paint, and acrylic on a wood panel.
Developed during the height of the ugly 2016 presidential campaign, this design is intended to depict the rudimentary roles that groups of human beings - regardless of political orientation - tend to recreate over and over again: the victim, the hero, and the bully.
These roles also play out on a smaller, personal scale - like in our social lives or family relationships. Even the internal voice that helps us make decisions can lead towards oversimplifying our problems by adopting one of these roles. In doing so, we rob ourselves of the ability to appreciate complexity and diversity.
The painting is intended to be a reminder that the pathway to sustainable relationships - whether they are play out on a national scale or inside our own head - is more complicated than a sound bite or click bait headline.
Letting go of stress and trauma isn't easy. In this whimsical piece by Louie Gong (Nooksack), Rez Cat celebrates the release of negativity by rising above a toxic melee of wolf or dog mouths. This image is a strong reminder that the relief and joy associated with "letting go" is always available to us, if we choose it.
About Rez Cat - In 2010, Louie adopted a scruffy-looking wild tabby kitten from the Muckleshoot Reservation, where he was working at the time. On his first night at Louie’s house, an exhausted “Rez Cat” curled up in his new litter box and went to sleep, presumably because he was used to sleeping in dirt and gravel. As Rez Cat got older, he would often stay out all night hunting and leave various “presents” at Louie’s doorstop in the morning. Since then, Rez Cat has been a common subject in Louie’s art (and now has a softer bed to rest on).
The original 18" x 24" painting (spray paint, acrylic, ink pen and wood stain on wool panel) was created for the 2017 Indigenous Comicon.