Talking FishEnlarge image

Talking Fish, 2000

David Ruben Piqtoukun
Canadian (Inuit), 1950
grey, brown, red, and black Brazilian soapstone
34 x 64.5 x 16.5 cm
Purchased 2001
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40639.1-2)
© David Ruben Piqtoukun

"When I have an idea, I choose a stone that resembles that idea. Sometimes it's hard to make the stone come alive because of its quality. Most of the time, the result depends on the stone, rather than on the subjects we want to represent." - David Ruben Piqtoukun Frustrated over a failed fishing trip, the artist conceived this sculpture as a form of offering to the spirit of the creature he sought. Inventive, skilled, and thoughtful, Piqtoukun is one of the few artists living and mapping out new territory, in both a personal and an artistic context. "Talking Fish" reminds us of our limitations before the forces of nature. It shows, as well, that storytelling is not just an ethnographic exercise; it is still a vital language.




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