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- Artist Bio
Wikitoria is the Maori stylization of the name Victoria. This image sees the 17th century queen set into the same clothes of my Queenie image suggesting the family lineage and the role that dress has to play in passing down power and prestige. She is black and white and not romanticized at all because of imperialistic nature of her tenure. Crowned in 1837 and reigning through until the turn of the century, her fifty odd years saw her time as the crown witness much of the worst that colonization visited on Maori. This is not to vilify her or even the expansionist ethic of the British at the time, it is simply meant to bear witness to the facts we all live with but often through ignorance or lack of empathy remain unaware of. It is a comment on the truth of the catastrophic colonization event Maori experienced. Expected to immediately identify with the English spiritual and political values such as they were Maori found themselves out of health, out of pocket and out of spiritual clarity. What was left of show they were? War is left out of this image but war most certainly was the result of the facts witnessed here so she certainly was not a "Maori Queen".
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Fine Art Print, Unlimited Edition.
Lester was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1956 and has been self supporting through his art for the last twenty years. He has painted and studied New Zealand history and Maori - European - Pacific centric artwork all of that time.
My printed works are a collection of what the last 20 years of my life has taught me…not to mention what being brought up in White living rooms has given me.
I could prattle on here about what art and where etc I have done but apart from saying that my Tapa paintings represent a bedding in for me of my status as a Pacific Islander stats about me hold little interest.
I prefer in this context some specificity as to my nature and my drivers as the race relations commentary I make is often misconstrued as either White supremacist or Maori centric.
I consider myself an outsider artist, social commentator first and my art is a vehicle for my thoughts and philosophies and aspirations for my country. My art is a conversation with myself and represents moving thought not static dogma. My prints are not numbered and I change them to reflect or emphasise my thoughts whenever I choose to.