Myth, Midtopia, and Mapping: Frohawk Two Feathers and the Making of the Frenglish Empire

By Ellen C. Caldwell

Over the past decade, Frohawk Two Feathers has invented, developed, and transcribed a complex narrative and painted history of “Frengland,” the imaginary unified region of France and England.  Juxtaposing a mix of realistic life-size portrait paintings with more stylized, cartoon-like line drawings of his subjects, Two Feathers explores the legacies of imperialism through a complex re-imagining of history.  His stories weave in and out of history, walking a fine line between revisionism and historical fiction as his characters traverse and conquer empires internationally – from Europe, to the Caribbean, to the Arctic Tundra, to South Africa, and all the way to Denver and Manhattan (depending upon the geographic direction that his historical references mandate or that museum exhibition locations dictate).

With acrylic paintings on faux-aged paper, xerographic transfers on wood, paintings on hand-stretched hides, sculptural drums, and protective war garments, he creates a fictitious world of conquest that reflects a historical colonial past.  However, these updated, transposed empires and characters also reflect a contemporary reworking of imperialism and memory-making at its finest.  Frohawk inserts his characters into ironic, humorous and re-contextualized poses, situations, and titles.  Besides his obvious love for and infatuation with recasting history and emphasizing the problems of our imperial past, his work is also influenced by current popular culture, music, and research – revealing as much about the artist’s memory and subconscious as the ways in which history is recalled, retold, and celebrated in the American psyche…

Read more here in Frohawk Two Feathers: You Can Fall.

Comments are closed.