Brian Jungen (B. 1970) Talking Sticks, 2005 (This work is number three from the edition of five.)

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Lot 26
Brian Jungen
(B. 1970)
Talking Sticks, 2005

US$ 15,000 - 20,000
£ 12,000 - 16,000
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION, LOS ANGELES
Brian Jungen (B. 1970)
Talking Sticks, 2005

signed, numbered and dated '05 Brian Jungen 3/5' (on the nob of four bats)
five carved baseball bats

installation dimensions variable
each: 33 x 3 x 3 in. (83.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm.)

This work is number three from the edition of five.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner


    Brian Jungen draws from his Swiss and Dane-zaa (a First Nations people of British Columbia and Alberta) heritage when creating the complex yet whimsical sculptures for which he is so well-known. Born in Fort St. John, British Columbia in 1970, Jungen deconstructs and transforms objects from his everyday life, turning plastic chairs into whale skeletons, golf bags into totem poles and Nike Air Jordans and Everlast boxing gloves into ceremonial masks of British Columbian coastal tribes. Jungen elaborates "If you look at how my indigenous ancestors approached object-making, they typically used whatever they had on hand, working with what was in their immediate environment. My practice carries on that tradition. I live rurally now, but I lived in Vancouver for twenty-something years, and so my immediate environment then was very urban, with shopping malls and so on."

    It was on a 1998 visit to New York City that Jungen saw red, white and black Nike Air Jordan basketball shoes in a store window. They were the traditional colors of the Haida, an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest coast. Meticulously restitching the shoes into ceremonial masks, Jungen fashioned shoe tongues into curled ears, reinforced toes into chins and Nike swooshes into eyes, thus his first "Prototype for New Understanding" series was born. Simultaneously direct and disarming, Jungen's sculptures are entirely familiar in their material and assembly yet trick the eye through skillful illusion. While revered for their craftsmanship and graphic use of pattern and color, Jungen's works also contain subtle critiques of labor practices, global capitalism and cultural stereotypes, as well as the way in which professional sports fill a need for ceremony within the larger culture of society. Ultimately, he bridges the gap between indigenous and mass cultures with this potent combination.
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