As a member of the Tuscarora Tribe (Turtle Clan) of New York, Krystyna Printup’s paintings are an exploration of Native Americana thru the lens of her own identity growing up as an urban Indigenous woman. Presenting to the viewer as a collection of gouache paintings that act as a snapshot of her own histories Printup references found photographs and historical documents for her vibrant depictions of both fiction and non- fiction narratives. Printup’s signature bold and expressive lines pay homage to what she feels “is symbolic to the act of a beating drum” a display of aggression, energy, and unity.
HOMELAND is a collection of portrait and landscape paintings presented as a visual memoir paying homage to her American Indian heritage. The collection of paintings are meant to act as a linear narrative displaying the constant need to re address or bring to life the sense of “emptiness” within her subject matter. The lushness of color and vibrant motifs embodied and glorified within the stereotypical representation of Native American ideology is absent.
Native American portraits were photographed by settlers as documented evidence during the North American expansion at the turn of the century. Influenced by these 19th century photographs, the portraits are reimagined, colorized and brought back to life through a Native lens. This, in trying to "give back the soul" that was once captured and stolen by the colonial camera.
The landscapes paintings depicted are real Reservation Land, Indian territory, but lack what an outsider might fantasize as “what a rez looks like ” the mystified- all assuming- land is in-fact empty. The land can be anywhere, there is no defining dividing marker noting that THIS is Indian Land. In Printup’s attempt to display the truth behind the fantasy of what is Native America, she is also showing how just about any landscape IS indeed Indigenous land and that the land has always, and will always be.