The End

the end30″ x 40″, Acrylic on canvas, 2005     (Collection of the Artist)

Riel has continued to explore tribal histories and present – day realities in this Beautiful cinematic piece. In “The End”, a painting-cum-movie poster, the artist addresses the cinematic construction of aboriginal experience, casting a Native gang member as a fallen warrior and a modern-day Pocahontas as a submissive maiden to a handsome German cowboy. In this fantasy world, Monument Valley is still the homeland of choice for all tribes. Calling for an end to such big screen fabrications, The Best Man disrupts the senario, dancing across the set and into a more enlightened future with his trusty sidekick, the flying pig of endless possibility. – ALLAN J. RYAN, Riel Benn’s “Best Man”: An Unlikely Successor to Iktomi’s Trickster Legacy, AMERICAN INDIAN ART MAGAZINE, SPRING 2010

“It’s the end of the movie, as The Best Man clicks his heels. This cinematic painting is about interracial relationships. I cast the gang member as the losing warrior because the gang life is a losing end. The gang member acts as a warrior but isn’t really one, he really is just a cheap gangster, not the type of man a decent young native woman would want to marry. So my native brothers, Don’t be so surprised when you see more and more native women smiling with their Caucasian Love. As the flying Pig would say “Anything is possible! Ha Ha Ha.” – The Best Man Engagements

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