Chief Limited Edition Print
Own a limited edition print from RedCan 2020 Artist Chief. Size 16 x 20. Limited edition of 20 printed on archival paper.
An Oglala Lakota artist based in Rapid City, South Dakota, Chief was born and raised in Northern California. He became a graffiti writer at age 12 and painted illegally for 11 years. During that time, he was convicted of five felonies for vandalism, incarcerated multiple times, shot while painting, almost killed by police, and was homeless — all to paint graffiti illegally. He used graffiti as an emotional outlet to express his pain, anger, frustration, resentment, and feelings of inferiority from growing up fatherless, being bullied, and suffering from racism, systematic oppression, and both current and generational traumas. After trying to spread awareness of the genocide, oppression, and current state of the Oceti Sakowin and all indigenous Americans through his graffiti and social and online activism, Wakinyan Chief realized that he could not expect others to solve these problems and do nothing but talk about them. So he decided to move his family to his ancestral homelands to try and help however he could. After making this decision, he decided to give up painting illegally because he could not help his people from jail or prison. Today he is a youth mentor with Generations Indigenous Ways, and a board member of the Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative. He uses his artistic abilities to create artwork for these organizations, and in his spare time, he attends graffiti jams, and paints murals in his community, signs for businesses, and canvases that he gives to friends.