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An original color pen and ink drawing entitled “Shrimp” by Tommy Wayne (T.C.) Cannon, c.1970’s

Here in this playful, whimsical and beautiful drawing the famous Native art world giant turns his artist’s

eye and hand to glorifying the humble shrimp.

The great Oklahoma born Kiowa Indian artist, T.C. Cannon (1946-1978) was a man of very considerable appetites,

he liked the ladies, he liked fast cars and he especially liked to eat and he most likely made this beautiful and playful Pop-Art style drawing of his dinner on the spur of the moment sometime just before he cooked and ate it. Anyway, it’s a mighty tasty recipe which you can enjoy yourself every day and night, if you like.

The drawing is done in a colorful high-key palette of various bright colors of felt tip pen; purple, red, green,

blue, yellow, orange, pink etc. on a sheet of plain white notepaper. Cannon's sophisticated saturated color palette is on full display here. The drawing has a very interesting composition featuring several beautifully colored and finely shaded large shrimp floating in the air alongside some other abstracted shrimp forms which Cannon has playfully turned into question marks. What was the question or idea he was pondering, one wonders?

The drawing measures 10 1/2" in height and 8" in width (sight) and its framed dimensions are 19 1/2" by 16" in width and 3/4" in depth. And now for a few words about the playfully bright pink glitter pop-art style frame. Handmade

by Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe, Santa Fe’s finest art framers, the matte and frame are made to the highest archival standards and fitted with UV-light resistant “TruVue” Museum conservation glass.

Both drawing and frame are in excellent original condition. There is some slight wrinkling visible in the paper.

The drawing is titled “Shrimp” in blue ink in the artist’s hand at the lower right. The drawing is unsigned, but it is accompanied by an official letter guaranteeing authenticity by T.C. Cannon’s sister and official estate executor, Joyce Cannon-Yi on the back.

Beautiful shrimp as seen (and most likely eaten) by a true giant of modern Native American art. What could possibly be more creatively delicious and artistically satisfying? Andy Warhol famously depicted Campbell’s soup cans and Brillo cleaning pads, Roy lichtenstein painted comic strips, T.C. Cannon drew shrimp. Who says great artwork can’t be great fun and serious at the same time?


Note: photos at top left and top right of T.C. Cannon at the Institute for American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, c. 1972.

Photo source and © IAIA, Santa Fe.

"T.C. Cannon is regarded as the most eloquent and innovative of the Native American artists, one who helped change the direction of traditional Indian art to the "New Wave" movement that characterizes that genre today."

-Quotation source and © "T.C. Cannon: He Stood in the Sun", by Joan Frederick, Northland Publishing, 1995.