Born in Sitka, Alaska, Nicholas Galanin has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and the course of his practice. Having trained extensively in ‘traditional’ as well as ‘contemporary’ approaches to art, he pursues them both in parallel paths. His bodies of work simultaneously preserve his culture and explore new perceptual territory.
Galanin studied at the London Guildhall University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with honors in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing and at Massey University in New Zealand earning a Master’s degree in Indigenous Visual Arts. Valuing his culture as highly as his individuality, Galanin has created an unusual path for himself. He deftly navigates “the politics of cultural representation”, as he balances both ends of the aesthetic spectrum. With a fiercely independent spirit, Galanin has found the best of both worlds and has given them back to his audience in stunning form.
06/01/15 - PROFILE: Tlingit-Unangax Interdisciplinary Artist Nicholas Galanin - First American Art
Born in Sitka, Alaska Nicholas Galanin locates new visual languages by drawing from historical Indigenous iconography. Galanin’s
early experiences in the studio with his great-grandfather the Reverend George Benson, a wood sculptor, and his father Dave Galanin, who worked in precious metals, would influence his later work. He first trained at London Guildhall University, 2000–03, where he received a BFA with honors in jewelry design and silversmithing, and later earned an MFA in Indigenous visual arts at New Zealand’s Massey University.
03/251/16 - Reckoning With 'The Curious Occurrence of Taxidermy In Contemporary Art' - wbur
The “rogue” style is represented in “Dead Animals” by the entertaining magic realism of Nicholas Galanin’s 2009 wolf pelt sitting up as if it’s come back to life and Polly Morgan’s 2010 flock of yellow finches and canaries flying off with a metal cage. A number of the sculptures here—like Kate Clark’s 2014 human-headed Kudu (an African deer)—amuse because of their oddity, though they’re not terribly affecting.