Posts Tagged ‘aboriginal’

Artist of the moment……Janangoo Butcher Cherel



Janangoo Butcher Cherel was an Australian Aboriginal artist renown for abstract works with many fun shapes.

Janangoo Butcher Cherel was born close to the year 1920, no exact birth date is given.

The artist was self taught and similar to Grandma Moses, began his art career as he began his later years in life.

His works are said to be metaphorical representations of his life and cultural experiences.

Janangoo Butcher Cherel passed away in 2009.

What I enjoy most about this artist is his use and variety of shape. Many Aboriginal works are very repetitive in their use of shape. Often the viewer can get the idea of wind blowing through blades of grass. One shape repeated several hundred, if not a thousand times in the artwork.

Janagoo Butcher Cherel used many different kinds of shapes in his artwork. He is also one of few Aboriginal artists to try to depict realistic subject matter such as birds and water lilies.

Price range information: The artist created most works using watercolors or polymer paints. Original works range from $5,000 to $20,000.


Artist of the moment……Gloria Petyarre…

Gloria Petyarre comes from a huge family of artists of Aboriginal descent. Gloria was born in 1945 and is renown for her paintings of bush leaves that have wonderful movement and a great use of color. The artist is also known as Gloria Pitjara.

In this clip we watch Gloria Petyarre at work on a large canvas while it lies on the floor.

Considered the most well known and highly collected of the living Aboriginal female artists. She is renown internationally for paintings of the bush leaves.

Great selection of work by Gloria Petyarre in under one minutes time!

Her career exploded into the realm of success after winning a coveted art prize at a gallery in New South Wales. The piece was a large bush leave work for which she has become famous.

She is from a very small town in region in Australia called Utopia. It is reachable only by a dirt road, so it is not reachable at all times during the season.

Her aunt was probably the most famous Aboriginal female artist ever and her name was Emily Kame Kngwarreye, she passed away in 2006. Her aunt had some of the same abstract patterns appear in her work as Petyarre. Here is a work by Kngwarreye that is probably her most famous Big Yam Dreaming.




As with the Inuit peoples a small group was formed of the best artists. The group became a collective which brought profits and sales to all those included. Very similar to the way the Inuit peoples do their annual print shows. She and her aunt were founding members of this collective.

price range information: Many works priced $2,000 to $20,000. Her record is $74,000 in aussie dollars.

Was commissioned to do a mural at the Kansas City Zoo in the United States.


Artist of the moment…..Betty Mbitjana….

Betty Mbitjana hails from Australia and was born in 1955. In her artwork she uses symbols and colors associated with her Aboriginal background. She was born in the Northern Territory of Australia. Her mother was also a famous artist named Minnie Pwerle. Pwerle was born in 1922 and passed away in 2006. An example of Pwerle’s style below. I love the way Aboriginal painters emphasize color in their art. Many works are painted are very dark black background, when color is added it JUMPS off the page!


In this clip we see some very large works by the artist.

Mbitjana works in acrylics.

When looking at the work of Mbitjana many artists come to mind. ¬†When looking at her very large works there is a shape repeated over and over that reminds me of footprints. When looking at these in particular I am reminded of the great artist Keith Haring. Though you may dislike his work or dismiss it as too cartoony, Haring’s works contain movement in their line quality. The figure could be a stick figure, but with Haring even stick figures had movement. Mbitjana’s circle shapes also seem to move and vibrate. Below are some great examples of Keith Haring and his style of art. Notice he usually doesn’t put in little details such as the eyes, nose, or mouth but its very easy to grasp the emotion of his figures.

Another artist that comes to mind when watching Mbitjana painting is Vance Kirkland. Kirkland started painting in a realistic style, then switched to an abstract method in which he hung from the ceiling in a hammock like product he made himself. He painted with his canvas flat on the ground, much in the same manner Mbitjana produces her artwork.

I enjoy Mbitjana for her creative mixture of abstraction and I would call a primitive version of Op- Art. Another interesting idea is the fact that art colonies exist in much the same way they did centuries ago. Take the Aboriginals of Australia and the Inuits of Canada, both have seen the demise of their lifestyle due to urbanization and economic factors of their home countries. Both peoples continue to churn out great works of art and also families that have multiple generations of working artists.

price range information: Many works are priced from $500 to $3,000.