January 9, 2013 by smithartonline
White Buffalo is a small piece I made up for an online presentation with Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra, California. They have a gallery location, but this is for a cyberspace gallery called PIN (Power In Numbers). The parameters are to create a work in any medium, no larger than 5 X 7 inches and to be priced at either $50 or $100 at the artist’s discretion. The artist also determines a percent of the sale price to be donated to a specified charity. This work is within the 7 X 5 inch requirement, and is about one inch deep.
When I began this work, I had just finished reading Last Stand by Nathanial Philbrick. The book recounts the events leading up to and during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The whole sad history of this encounter reads like a Greek tragedy with participants who were bigger than life with very human failings. When all was done, there were no victors, only victims on both sides.
Philbrick’s book goes into some detail about the White Buffalo Calf Woman who comes to the Lakota Nation: it is a beautiful and mystical tale. This reading reminded me of the awe my grandmother had for white buffaloes, which she passed on to me. She raised me while my mother worked to put bread on the table. As the primary care giver in my early life, I cannot escape the impact of her interests and philosophies…nor would I want to. So, I suppose my grandmother takes the blame for this one.