Louis Still Smoking
Oil on canvas
24” x 18”
Duality is a portrait of a Crow woman named Julia Bad Boy-Bear Ground. Its composition speaks to the truth of how Native peoples live in two worlds, two different cultures. One is the natural world. The other is the modern world. The modern world is ever changing, whether it be medicine, technology, or culture. While holding onto our indigenous identity for a sense of grounding, we tread on both paths with grace.
Acrylic on canvas
20” x 30”
Annie is my great-grandmother. She is the last Blackfeet botanist of her time. Her knowledge has been documented and archived. I remember as a child going to pick berries, roots and peppermint. Our harvest season was all summer long as the different plants were processed when they were ready. She always knew what plants were healing for certain illnesses and how to use them, providing a grounded sense of harmony with Creation.
“I want to move people; have a voice in the world.
If you move people, you are doing your job as an artist.”
Louis Still Smoking was born and raised in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation. Art is in his veins. Inspired by other family members who were talented, he found art to be therapeutic and started drawing and painting at a young age. Growing up in a small community allowed him to focus on his ability to use a pencil and paintbrush. Louis finds all forms of media equally important opportunities to express art to the world through his eyes. He likes to take on a challenge and put everything into his work.
Louis graduated from Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, South Dakota in 1998. He worked as a stone sculptor for 11 years and then decided to go back to college and further his studies in art. With a sculptural mind he found that his painting and drawing needed further development so he took on an emphasis in painting. His artwork is influenced by the Impressionists, Lucian Freud, and research on the history of the American Indian Movement. He has found these influences inspiring, and resonates with the intentional ways in which their art has made a difference in the world.
Louis’s work is always evolving and growing; “I try to convey a message that is relevant to all native peoples, whether that be social or political my work expresses my own personal beliefs and struggles as a modern Native American.”