Bonner David Galleries is excited to present the works of Comanche artist, Nocona Burgess. In his upcoming show, “Welcome,” Burgess balances both traditional and contemporary styles in his representations of deceased Native American figures, warriors and cowboys. Nocona uses loose brushstrokes creating less defined lines, while breaking up space with circles and squares, as this accentuates the image. These paintings are enriched with history and pride, which is portrayed through the strong facial features, standing pose, and the traditional adornments of the Native American. We had the pleasure of asking Burgess a few questions about his life to better get-to-know the person behind this amazing collection!
Bonner David Galleries: In three words, describe your work…
Nocona Burgess: Painterly, Intrepid, Candid.
BDG: I know you come from a family of artists and leaders. In what ways do they inspire your work?
Nocona: The art side is, I feel, to look around your world and really see it and appreciate it. Also, to interpret it through your eyes, heart and mind. That’s what I get. My mother always says she would like to look at the world through my eyes and see what I see and how I see it. I always liked that. As far as the “leader,” that’s just the responsibly you have to your people and fellow man. I was raised that a leader is a servant and a person who gives, not one that takes. My leaders inspire my work in a way to see things around me, pay attention, and to be a good man.
BDG: Do you have a motto that you live by? If so, what is it?
Nocona: This is a snippet from a longer quote which would be my art/work motto: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work -Chuck Close
And my life motto would be “The Motto” by Langston Hughes
I play it cool
I dig all jive
That’s the reason
I stay alive
As I live and learn
Is dig and be dug in return
BDG: If you can recall the happiest moment in your life, what were you doing?
Nocona: I was in the hospital watching my son being born into the world. I thought I was going to cry, but when I saw his face I was just happy, smiling and proud of him and his momma!
BDG: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Nocona: From my parents: work everyday; they gave me a strong work ethic. My dad: paint what you know.
BDG: What do you hope your audience experiences from your work?
Nocona: I want to draw them in. Maybe they will want to know more about the subject in the painting and, to see the details of the paint. I don’t try to dictate what the viewer feels, but I know that you feel a painting as much as you see it.
BDG: If you were not an artist, what would you be?
Nocona: An architect or a football coach.
Nocona’s work is featured in the March issue os Western Art Collector! To read the entire article, click here