Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, Vol 7, No 1 (2013)

'My World is Surreal,' or 'The Northwest Coast' is Surreal

Charlotte Townsend-Gault


“My world is surreal” says Yuxweluptun (b. 1957). The Coast Salish artist lives in Vancouver and therefore on un-ceded native land, where the ‘rights’ of Native people are, contradictorily, defined by the 1876 Indian Act. Yuxweluptun accounts for the surreal in his paintings as retaliation for a mode that drew on Indigenous sources to define itself. They are part of a capacious, populist discursive history that has long informed production and reception of Northwest Coast Native art. ‘The Colour of My Dreams: the Surrealist Revolution in Art’, at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2011) helped to establish its historical framework.

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