Los Angeles Times
Friday February 29, 2008
AROUND THE GALLERIES
by Holly Myers
A chapter from colonial times
“In the Court of the Crimson King” is Frohawk Two Feathers‘ second solo show at Taylor de Cordoba and the second chapter of an epic saga whose details are difficult to keep straight. They’re scrawled on a long, scroll-like sheet posted to a gallery wall for those who want to give it a try. But the themes are all too familiar: power, war, colonialism, imperialism and the lure of global trade.
The hero is one Nancy of Gonaives, heir to the fictional kingdom of Frengland, who has embarked on a mission to avenge his father’s death and reclaim the throne from his villainous uncle, Lord William (a.k.a. King Billy). Haiti figures in the story in some way, as do the sugar trade, the Inuit people, a pope and a certain pink sperm whale, hunted with Ahab-like obsession by the ill-fated King L’Oreal.
The bulk of the story is told through drawings and paintings that mimic the conventions of colonial-era genres — particularly portraiture — while remaining wonderfully fresh and strange. The project is a peculiar one that manages to balance a number of unlikely qualities — lighthearted and earnest, endearing and unsettling, humorous and scathingly critical.
Two Feathers, who goes by a number of different pseudonyms, seems to have a lot going on: He has several musical projects underway and will perform at the gallery Saturday as Kent Cyclone. The full scope may take some time to unfold, but the promise is striking.