Shaun Chosa: War Paint

Shaun Chosa: War Paint

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk: March 17, 5-7 PM

On View: January – March

John Steffl Gallery

Pulling from popular culture, nature and his Ojibwe heritage, Shaun Chosa creates detailed pen and ink work that is evocative and at times whimsical. In War Paint, Chosa translates his ideas onto large canvas with acrylic, “War Paint is a social commentary on popular culture and its intersection in Indian country. Some blatant, some coded in ways only those people growing up on the Red road would understand.”

Chosa traveled the United States throughout his youth, visiting and living among various Native American tribes alongside his mother, an artist. Many of her friends were free thinkers: poets, musicians, hippies, veterans; they had a large influence on Chosa’s constant search for knowledge.

Exploring line and color, Chosa searches his way around his subjects like the contours on a landscape. Each elevation rising with another color and pattern, lines creating depth and form with a graphic style inspired by street art. Subjects range from political to familial, highlighting strengths and obstacles of Native American people. Strong images capture emotion, evoke reaction, and encourage introspection, pushing against perceptions and challenging stereotypes.  

Chosa’s design work has been seen around Duluth in the form of posters, CD covers, and apparel for local artists, venues, and concerts including Charlie Parr and Save the Boundary Waters Music Festival. Chosa fills the gaps in his community’s art programming, bringing an art club to Ely High School, creating a puppet troop, hosting the Great Nordic Beard Fest and organizing music concerts.



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