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Photographed by Byron Dauncey.
Monte Clark is pleased to exhibit a focused solo presentation of new sculptures by Claude Rocky LaRock at this year’s edition of Art Toronto.
‘An Altogether Different Kind of Mask: Materiality, Function and Sophistication in the Work of Claude “Rocky” LaRock’, 2022, written by Jaiden George, writer and artist, Ahousaht Nation, Tofino BC.
Claude “Rocky” LaRock gives form to the narratives and themes expressed by the spiritual and supernatural figures central to his culture and community in a way that renders them anew. Using chainsaws and power tools, and adorning his masks with a level of material complexity virtually unprecedented in Northwest Coast art, LaRock departs from the ceremonial form to create an altogether different kind of mask intended not to transform the identity of a wearer but to transform the condition of the viewer.
Claude Rocky LaRock (b. 1958), is a Stó:lō master carver based in the community of Sts’ailes, his mother’s traditional Coast Salish territory on the Canadian West Coast. LaRock’s distinct visual language reflects contemporary themes, drawing a connection between present life and the supernatural. He carves with a chainsaw and power tools in place of traditional carving tools. LaRock masterfully renders the character and essence of spiritual figures, in some cases depicting beings in the process of decay, divided between the living world and the underworld. His work challenges perceptions of indigenous art, moving beyond ceremonial to contemporary art. The Reach (Abbotsford) recently presented a survey of his work in ‘E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The Wild Inside’ (2021).
Sásq’ets, the Sasquatch (detail)
Exhibited at The Evergreen Art Gallery, “Semá:th Xó:tsa: Sts’ólemeqwelh Sxó:tsa / Great Gramma’s Lake” June–July, 2022. Rachel Topham Photography. “Semá:th Xó:tsa: Sts’ólemeqwelh Sxó:tsa / Great Gramma’s Lake” is organized and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum. Abbotsford. Curated by Adrienne Fast.
Sásq’ets, the Hunter (detail)
The Protector (detail)
Sqáqele lexwst’í:lem tutl’o “Baby is always singing” (detail)
The Boss (detail)
Sásq’ets Sts’eláxwem “Sasquatch Spirit Dancer” (detail)
Sásq’ets the portal (travels between the physical and spiritual worlds)
Cedar, cedar bark, horse hair, antlers, bones, copper, deer and bear teeth
30 x 24 x 16 in (Overall height with hair: 50 in)
Sásq’ets the portal (travels between the physical and spiritual worlds) (detail)
Cedar, woven cedar bark, feathers
7 x 8.5 x 31 in (Overall height with hair 51 inches)
The Guardian (detail)