Super Indians: Origins


Johnnie Diacon shows off his comic art chops in this piece, which won first place at the prestigious 2019 Trail of Tears Show at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Johnnie’s description of his painting: “The idea for this painting came to me when I was invited to be part of an exhibit that feature the works of Native artists who are influenced by the world of comic books and pop culture. Being a fan Aragon Starr’s Super Indian comic books, I decided to use her Super Indian Volume 1 with a grouping of Indian men inspired by old photographs of tribal delegations from the late 1800s. The title is derived from the origin stories that are popular conventions often used in super hero comic books and my desire to juxtapose a 21st century pop culture image of the comic book with a traditional culture image of the Native men from the 19th century, the original Super Indians, so to speak.” Johnnie was educated at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he studied the traditional, flat style of Indian painting under master artist Ruthe Blalock Jones. Johnnie also studied the contemporary style of Indian art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Bacone College, among others.



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