Taking the experiences of working cattle on our family ranch, I started creating custom branding irons as sculpture and eventually started using them to make branded "prints". Some examples are below.
Heating the branding iron. I use a propane torch or furnace to heat the branding irons up for "printing".
"Native Multiplied" 2019
On this print, I have heated and reheated the branding iron up to repeatedly burn the word into the paper. I use wet watercolor paper for these "prints".
"Native Immigrant" 2019
Three separate branding irons were used to create this "print". The image of the US was cut from 1/3" steel with a plasma cutter.
I felt it was important for a Native artist to question the recent anti-immigrant sentiment that rose during the 2016 presidential race.
"Native Hand" 2019
Two branding irons were used to create this "print". The hand is shaped from my own hand. I really like the way the heat chars and yellows the scorched watercolor paper.
"Branded Book: Indian Painters and White Patrons" 2020
Here I have branded a dollar sign onto the cover of J.J. Brody's book which was one of the first art historical considerations of Native American art as fine art and not simply ethnographic objects. The text considers the impact of non-Native collectors on the quality of mid-century Native American art.
Palm Springs Art Museu
Various branding irons.