A Tribute To Kwakwaka'wakw
Chief Willie ‘Smoky-Top’ Seaweed
Great Canadian Artists like Jack Shadbolt and Emily Carr were very much influenced by northwest coast First Nations cultures and art. The influence is clearly reflected within their unique styles when painting First Nations totems and masks as subjects for their work.
Danny Cain, a visual artist, was also influenced by the northwest coast First Nations culture and art. Danny had the uniquely rare priviledge to learn First Nations culture, art and carving from Kwakwaka'wakw master carver, Thomas Bruce, from Alert Bay, BC.
Although Danny carved for galleries and collectors for nearly twenty years, he prefers painting. In the mid 90's Danny chose to paint a collection of mask portraits in a style known as "Realism" and which is a "first" for painting masks as portraitures in North America and elsewhere.
"Painting mask portraits is my way of bringing these dramatically colourful masks to life on canvas for many people to enjoy." Danny explained that the masks where carved by Kwakwakawakw Chief Willie "Smoky-Top" Seaweed.
Many of the masks can be located in Museums in Canada and the USA. For example, the Chief's Dzunkwa / Chief's Wild Woman Mask can be seen at the Museum of Anthropology at University of BC.
Copyright and research provided accuracy and authenticity of each mask portrait which Danny acquired from the University of Washington, USA.