Serpent Dancer by Joe David, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation
Serpent Dancer, 1975 by Joe David, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation Silkscreen, Edition of 195 23" high x 19" wide framed
Joe David (born May 30, 1946) is a Canadian-born artist, a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht Band of the Nuu-chah-nulth people,also formally "adopted" into the Haida people,whose work is identified with the modern Northwest Coast art movement. He was greatly influenced by teacher and art historian Bill Holm, Duane Pasco and Frank Charlie (with whom he apprenticed), and his cousin Ron Hamilton.He is also a singer of traditional Nuu-chah-nulth songs, and has a strong interest in shamanic traditions,both those from his own culture and from others.
David was born in the Clayoquot village of Opitsat (on Meares Island off the west coast of Vancouver Island) and grew up in Seattle, Washington. His father, Hyacinth David gave him a strong grounding in his cultural heritage. He studied art in the Job Corps, attended art school in Markos, Texas and Seattle, and worked briefly as a commercial artist. In 1969, David focused more specifically to Northwest Coast Native artafter he was "blitzed" by the Burke Museum collection of Northwest Native art, curated by Bill Holm.
He was one of the innovators of serigraphs featuring traditional Northwest Coast Native motifs. His eclecticism has involved an interest not only in his native traditions and the broad mainstream of contemporary North American culture, but also in other native American traditions. David participates annually in a Southwestern Sun Dance and is greatly inspired by Maori art.Rejecting the view that traditional Northwest Native cultures should somehow remain frozen in time, he has remarked "The fact is, there is always change and our people have always been comfortable with it."