Totem #5 – Stacked Coyotes and Ravens
This is the fifth in my ongoing “Totem” series. Modern reinterpretations of the Native American Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest, these pieces offer impossible arrangements of common animals and birds. Isolated from their natural environments and portrayed in a whimsical, tension-filled, and surreal context, the viewer is challenged to reconsider the subjects in a new light. Native Americans traditionally used animals as potent symbols for their own human talents, frailties, fears, and desires, and despite the distance we have placed between ourselves and the natural world today, animals still play just as significant a role in our daily lives, from logos to add campaigns. These pieces ask the viewer to explore what wildlife means in today’s world, to consider the fragile balance we strike in our own lives between man and beast, and to ponder the plight of a natural world teetering on collapse.
This piece was inspired by the highly visible local coyote population in my native Bay Area, California, the coyotes at the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ, and the omnipresent raven. In Native American folklore, both of these animals are crafty tricksters. Who knows what trouble they might get into together?
Also available in a medium sized version 18″ x 36″