Red Indian #4 (Spearman)
Yoram Wolberger’s sculpture of a Native American warrior belongs to a series of monumental versions of the plastic toy figurines that the artist used to stage elaborate mock battles between cowboys and Indians during his youth. Though infused with nostalgia, Red Indian #4 also invokes the violence that permeates both popular childhood games and the history of indigenous peoples in North America.
To create his sculpture, Wolberger took molds of toy figurines—objects that were themselves based on stock images of Native Americans in nineteenth-century landscape paintings of America’s wilderness. Such imagery helped to foster perceptions among non-Natives of Indians as uncivilized, hostile, and an impediment to national progress defined by westward expansion.
The irregular “fins” around the edges of Wolberger’s sculpture, which mimic the seams of their mass-produced toy counterparts, symbolize the continuing proliferation of standardized images of Native Americans and the American frontier. Moreover, the lack of detail and the generic character of his warrior underscore the ways in which stereotypes deny historical circumstances and ignore the diversity of Native peoples.
3-D digital scanning, CNC digital sculpting, reinforced fiberglass composites, Urethane paint
75 x 75 x 22 in. (190.5 x 190.5 x 55.9 cm) (show scale)
Purchased with funds given by the Mark & Hilarie Moore Family Trust in memory of Robert H. Chaney
This item is not on view
Yoram Wolberger (American, born Israel, 1963). Red Indian #4 (Spearman), 2008. 3-D digital scanning, CNC digital sculpting, reinforced fiberglass composites, Urethane paint
, 75 x 75 x 22 in. (190.5 x 190.5 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Mark & Hilarie Moore Family Trust in memory of Robert H. Chaney, 2008.71. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2008.71_DIG_E2009_Wolberger_01_PS2.jpg)
Edition: 3 (with 2 artist proofs)
installation, front, 2008.71_DIG_E2009_Wolberger_01_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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© Yoram Wolberger
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