Unveiled at #ArtBasel2015#WynwoodArtWalk
60 inches by 30 inches
This piece has a double meaning, chronicling my personal experience and also showing the extent of America's War on Wolves.
Native American culture reveres the wolf as a spiritual brother, a totem and animal with which we have an immense connection. The figure shown is Chief Sitting Bull. When Sitting Bull was 14 years old he came across a wolf in a trap, Sitting Bull saved the wolf, upon which the wolf said to him that his name will be as big as mine my friend. Sitting Bull went on to become the most famous Native American Chief, who was murdered in the massacre at wounded knee.
When the European settlers came to America, they came with the mindset of the wolf as being enemy of the state, having just massacred all the wolves in England, with the medieval mind state of the big bad wolf fuelled by propaganda in English literature, fables and the church viewing the wolf as demonic.
Upon arriving the lieutenant wrote in his orders that first we must wipe out the buffalo as the Indians rely on them for food, then we can have room to build cattle ranches. Upon the decimating the buffalo herds and the genocide of the native Americans, the wolves where the last survivors in the frontiers. With there natural prey decimated and their pack structure killed by persecution by the settlers, the wolves took some cattle as they were covering the Great Plains. The wolves, already demonised and hinted as vermin, become the last enemy of the state, being obliterated from nearly all 50 states and only surviving in the remotest corners of Alaska and Canada.
The last remaining wolves became 'outlaws' with bounties on their heads, with Lobo the King of the Currumpaw having a bounty of $1000 for his murder.
With the removal of wolves from the endangered species act, due to ranching lobby groups and sports hunting outfits like safari club international heavily influencing policy makers, the war on wolves has been reinstated with hunting groups determined to remove the wolf from all 50 states