Sonny Assu (Gwa'gwa'da'ka)
Kwakwaka'wakw, Laich-kwil-tach, Wei Wai Kai, born 1975
Sonny Assu’s Breakfast Series appropriates the form of the familiar cereal box and emblazons its surfaces with commentary on highly-charged issues for First Nations people—such as the environment, treaty rights and land claims. The pop art-inspired graphics on the five boxes in the series contain recognizable imagery but upon closer inspection, we see that Tony the Tiger is composed of formline design elements, the box of Lucky Beads includes a free plot of land in every box, and contains “12 essential lies and deceptions.” The light-hearted presentation, upon further investigation, exposes serious social issues.
Five boxes digitally printed with Fome-cor, 12 x 7 x 3in. (30.5 x 17.8 x 7.6cm) each, of 5, Gift of Rebecca and Alexander Stewart, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2006.93, © Sonny Assu
Provenance: Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, 2006; SAM purchase