ABOUT THIS PODCAST: Emerging artist, Del Curfman, of the Crow Nation in Montana joins us for this episode of the Native Hope Podcast. Initially inspired by French Impressionism his early works had an abstract focus, which he describes as “loose,” with importance placed upon color and vibrancy. His style has evolved into what he calls, “abstract realism,” where he incorporates elements “connecting to memory, sound,” and the “places” he has been. Through his medium of oil painting, he regards his work as a “cultural vessel,” a tangible representation of life and more than just “a figure on a canvas.” Bringing his work to life is achieved through incorporating movement. As a “next generation” storyteller, he uses his visual medium to “celebrate” his culture and background. Using time, space, and movement, Del describes his artistic process, saying, “There never is a dull moment as an artist; whether it is a leaf falling from a tree and it gracefully lands where it needs to be in nature or the sound of cars in New York City,” the World offers inspiration. Such “inspiration is the foundation of art.”
Del feels positive when he is painting and feels that the support he receives is affirmative. He weaves humanity into his pieces, providing his collectors and supporters a means to “share in these experiences, collaborations, and connections in memory.” He says that his work has brought him “closer to his Creator, the Higher One, the Spirit Above Us.” Oil painting creates that “immersive relationship with humanity and identity.” Bridging modernism and traditionalism, Del also shares that learning his culture and ceremonies is important. Aside from discussing aspects of his art and process, he explains his hope for the future of Indigenous nations and his aspirations to bring back his art to his people by facilitating a holistic arts program for the youth. He provides tips for success, words of wisdom for artists of all ages, and the need to remove any distractions that take you away from your art.