Nocona Burgess is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. Moreover, he is the son of a former tribal chief and the great-great-grandson of one of the most revered Native American leaders, Chief Quanah Parker.
By painting with vibrant pigments onto dark backgrounds Burgess has perfected a method that he describes as “painting outward”. This approach produces the richly contrasting colours of his distinctive canvases and gives his art a vivid depth. Burgess’ paintings inspire and educate through their unusual techniques and positive dialogues between past and present.
In these paintings Burgess mixes careful research, firsthand knowledge and raw passion. By combining brightly coloured shapes with crisply outlined facial features and traditional dress, he explores the cultural context, life story and identity of each sitter. In this way the artist urges us to update our perceptions of Native people and consider the intriguing and often highly politicised place of Native American portraiture.
Burgess’ paintings have received numerous awards and can be found in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, Bristol Museum UK and the American Museum in Britain. His numerous collectors across the world notably include the actor Johnny Depp.