Frank Big Bear was born on White Earth Reservation, Minnesota in 1953. Though largely self-taught, he also studied with artist George Morrison at the University of Minnesota in the 1970s. His work draws on imagery and ideas from his Ojibwe roots. He has held a number of prestigious residencies, fellowships and public commissions, including the Jerome Foundation Fellowship in 1982, the Bush Foundation Fellowship in 1986 and the McKnight Foundation Fellowship in 1992.
Frank Big Bear's portraits, some shrieking and baring gnarled teeth others sitting thoughtfully, sink into fractured environments that seem to cut into his figurations. Like waking from a dream and piecing the memory of it together in a linear, sequential order we find that things overlap, intersecting in many places at the same time. Yet unlike recalling a dream to mind, the mere act causing us to loose details, Big Bear's work explodes into color and allows the viewer time to peer into his dream.
Oshki-bawaajige - New Dreaming
Star Wallowing Bull