Essay on Young Plains Indian By James Bama

Essay on Young Plains Indian By James Bama

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James Bama’s painting titled Young Plains Indian (1980) depicts a decorated young Native American male riding on top of a horse who is barely on the canvas. The young Native American depicted in this image is not fictional but is an actual person that Bama photographed in 1979 at the grand entry of a Crow Fair. This painting was created in 1980, a year after photographing the actual Native American. The original piece was painted with oil atop of a masonite canvas and stands 24 inches wide by 24 inches tall and is currently being displayed at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado.
The title Young Plains Indian is simple and to the point in terms of explaining what the painting is emphasizing; a young plains indian. Beginning with the use of space, James Bama’s Young Plains Indian places a tremendous amount of emphasis on the young Native American depicted. Bama has positioned the subject directly in the middle of the painting and has him taking up more than half of the entire canvas to the point where there is nothing else to look at but the subject. Not only has Bama proportio...

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