Several years ago, when I fancied myself an artist of sorts, I created a series of native American chokers and breastplates fashioned out of non-traditional materials such as glass and copper tubing. But, I wanted to take my art a step further and become part of it. So, I asked a photographer friend to take shots of me decked out as what I called, "TheUrban Native." I took the black-and-white images and took my art up one more notch, as Emeril would say, and colorized it and framed them with actual feathers and copper beads. It was my three-dimensional potrait of myself and my art.
Other than frightening a few friends and co-workers (including the friend who took the shots), the images never really caused a stir in the arts community. But I've always like them. I've always liked the shocked reaction they get when people realize that the Urban Native is me.
But, basically, I'm the only one with any copies (except for the photographer, who I believe keeps the one I framed for her somewhere in a closet if it hasn't made its way to Goodwill). In July, my girlfriend and I took a cruise to Alaska. And in Juneau, I found a native American mask (actually I believe it was carved by a native Canadian) that I bought to add to my collection of masks from various parts of the world. It wasn't until a few weeks later, after mounting the mask on my wall, that I noticed the resemblance.