Not Indians

My parents made a family tradition of dressing their children thematically each Halloween. The snapshot shows my brother and me dressed as “Indians” for Halloween. In the mid 1950s there was little sensitivity to indigenous people or the possibility of disrespecting native traditions via caricature. Most of our costumes were handmade. My mother substituted lipstick for war paint. The legend on our candy bags plays off the real nature of the collision of Native and European cultures. Found text and anatomical elements hint at that violence. The work includes traditional collage and inkjet printing from a digitized family snapshot.

Lorin Labardee was born in Detroit, Michigan. His education includes the Rhode Island School of Design and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Teaching social studies provoked an interest in art for social change. His first solo show was in 1993 at the University of Arizona with additional shows throughout the U.S. Financial support includes the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His portraits inspired by mentoring high school-aged boys titled “Men Trying on Hats,” looks at the malleability of male identity. He lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. Follow him on Facebook: @lorinlabardee


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