Los Angeles-based artist Frohawk Two Feathers is known for inventive and complex narratives that re-imagine eighteenth-century history. Since 2006, Two Feathers has chronicled the mythic global struggles between two imaginary superpowers-the kingdom of Holland and Zeeland, and the empire of Frengland (a unified nation of France, the United Kingdom, and Ireland). The current installment takes place in the area that is today New York and New Jersey and introduces figures drawn from the Lenape/Delaware and Iroquois tribes, adding to Two Feathers's previously established cast of characters. Having extensively researched the actual history and geography of the region, the artist created intricate ink-and-acrylic portraits of the main protagonists, narrative scenes and maps, flags of the warring nations, and drums and additional artifacts. A mash-up of real and invented history, the art of Two Feathers reflects the past and the present-traditional European portraiture, Native American art, folk art, and contemporary urban culture-and presents a new perspective on colonialism, imperialism, and racism. Featured characters of varied ethnicities offer an alternative to the Eurocentric version of history. By highlighting the diversity of his protagonists and bringing together native and colonial histories, Two Feathers challenges us to consider the untold story of the colonization of the Americas, or to imagine it differently.
This exhibition was organized by the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.