Oct 112021

Happy Indigenous People’s Day! The work above, Because You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, is by Choctaw-Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson. The sculpture was commissioned for Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, but is currently located at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

The deCordova website gives the following information about Gibson and the work-

Jeffrey Gibson weaves together his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage and queer identity into vibrantly patterned painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Drawing on Indigenous process and materials and queer camp aesthetics, his artistry aims to transcend binary thinking and corrects nostalgic views of indigeneity. Merging styles and historical references, Gibson states, “I have continued to think about my practice as encompassing the past and present while considering the future.” Gibson often integrates phrases and words into his artwork, with language drawn from pop songs to activist slogans, to offer open-ended declarations of love, community, and liberation.

Standing over 40 feet wide and 20 feet tall at the entrance to deCordova’s Sculpture Park, Gibson’s Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House commands attention to its stepped form and psychedelic facade. Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, this installation expands Gibson’s signature artistry and collaborative process to a monumental scale. He took inspiration from North American Indigenous history, as well as queer nightlife to create this monument advocating for Indigenous space and culture. The tri-layered form references the earthen forms of the ancient Mississippian city of Cahokia which flourished in the seventh through the fourteenth centuries before European contact.

The title, Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, comes from the song “Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers (Larry Heard). Gibson evokes 80s and 90s-era house music and night clubs as they provided welcoming spaces for queer communities and people of color. Mr. Finger’s lyrics embrace intimacy, generosity, acceptance, and community. This installation echoes this broad communal ethos as Gibson invited fellow Indigenous artists–Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), and Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota)–to co-create the wheat-pasted posters covering the façade of the installation and stage performances on and around the ziggurat.

Oct 142019

This mural was created for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley 2016 in Lancaster by artist David Flores. For more of his work check out his website and Instagram.

Oct 132015



In downtown Los Angeles off of Winston Street is Werdin Place, unofficially known as Indian Alley.  From the 1970s to 1990s, the building adjacent to the alley, 118 Winston, housed the United American Indian Involvement Center which aided Los Angeles’ Native American population, which at the time was one of the largest in the country.

In recent years, several street artists have painted murals in the alley that recognize its history, including images of famous Native Americans like Chief Plenty Coups (pictured above), Toypurina, and Quanah Parker. The creation of this project is due in large part to the hard work of the current resident of 118 Winston, Stephen Zeigler, who organized the artists for the project, and who along with his wife Jodi owns the gallery and store These Days, located in the building. He also coordinates other street art projects in the area, including the painted utility boxes located around Winston that were done by a group of artists known collectively as Winston Death Squad.

Although there is a gate on both sides of the alley, Ziegler is often there to let you in and even give you some information about its history while you check it out. Definitely a great way to see a bit of Los Angeles’ street art and learn about an important part of its interesting past.

For more information-

-This article on Stephen Zeigler is really good- http://www.neontommy.com/news/2014/05/downtown-artists-paint-change-skid-row

-The LA Times did a profile on Indian Alley last year- http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-indian-alley-20140629-story.html

-This article has a time lapse video of the artist Votan painting the Chief Plenty Coups mural in the alley (seen above)- http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/11/watch-time-lapse-video-plenty-coups-mural-las-indian-alley-153513

Also worth checking out- Jaque Fragua, who painted the left half of the above collaboration with Shepard Fairey, is part of the artists team in the organization Honor The Treaties (Fairey is involved as well) which combines art and advocacy to give voice to the issues facing Native Americans- http://www.honorthetreaties.org/#p2,s4