by Winsip Custer CPW News Service
The Japanese love Jack Nicholson's portrayal of a renegade psych-ward detainee in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The 1975 film reminescent of Paul Newman's blockbuster Cool Hand Luke, a film that won the young Nicholson an Academy Award has taken on new life with the recent disaster in Japan's Northern Prefectors. New interest in Native American art is thriving in Japan. Of special interest is the painting by Cuckoo's Nest's other fine star, Creek Indian artist and former rodeo cowboy, Will Sampson.
Sampson's paintings are in the style of Charles Russell or Frederick Remington, but with an eye to the enduring dilemma of the American Indian. It is perhaps this conflict of cultures that appeals to the Japanese who have both endured the suffering and benefits of Western European culture. "It's a painting that shows the pain and conflict of any people who feel that they must stay or go, march into an uncertain future, but always wondering where they are going, what to take with them and what to leave behind," said Tokyo art investor Iki Fujimori.
Will Sampson died following surgery for heart and lung problems in Houston in 1987, but his art work lives on thanks to a dedicated group of friends and family members who support the work of the Kvskvnv Foundation in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
"I love his work and especially the painting of the Indian on horseback following his people on the long road into the distance, but on a horse with a saddle, a hat that looks like it was appropriated from the Europeans and looking back at what he has left knowing that he is torn between two conflicting realities," said Fujimori
To see Will Sampson's artwork....