D. Ahsen:nase Douglas
As an Indigenous artist, in addition to creating work that speaks to my culture, experiences and thoughts, it is also my goal to break artistic stereotypes and commercial restrictions that force Indigenous artists to create work that is bound by outside "expectations". For example, not being considered "Indigenous art" because the work created is not "Woodland Style" or "West Coast Style". Indigenous artists must be allowed to explore other forms of expressing their culture and their "Indigenous-ness" beyond the restrictions of imposed stereotypes. In this way an Indigenous artist that breaks these stereotypes may find it possible to make a living from their art without compromising their artistic integrity by submitting to an artistic "reservation" that forces them to only work within colonial, commercial and ideological artistic frameworks.
Ahsén:nase D. Douglas is a Kanien’kehá:ka painter, author, teacher and Urban NDN with roots in the Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory.
Working with oils on canvas he creates unique paintings inspired by his Kanien’kehá:ka culture and the culture of other First Nations people.
This culture he states, “...is an abundant source of creative expression” that helps him to entwine traditional values with contemporary subject matter.
The artist’s work currently explores Indigenous identity, culture and perspectives through portraiture and characterizations. His paintings can be found within private and public collections across Canada and the United States, as well as Australia.
He is self-taught with formal training in art history and visual design, photography, computer science, social science and education. As an Indigenous Artist in Residence for the YRDSB he has been given the opportunity to share his art, culture and stories to a variety of students.
Ahsén:nase is also recognized by the Canada Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council as a professional "Indigenous Visual Artist".