Frank Buffalo Hyde | Round Dance No. 5


NO. 5

Frank Buffalo Hyde’s work centers around pop culture and the notion of an information-based practice—synthesizing current events, music, television, digital culture and film into a pastiche that mirrors back and interprets the 21st century world we live in. In his 2018 work Round Dance No. 5, the artist depicts eight football players huddled in a circle, reminiscent of an Indigenous round dance. The work references the racist appropriation of the sports industry, including the Washington football team, formerly the Washington R*dskins. The artist sought to expose the “hypocrisy of professional sports businesses not recognizing the players, that have made them so successful, as human beings” and to reveal the blatant racism and appropriation ensconced within the sports industry. The work, part of a series of paintings, lives in a space between the pop art genre and social commentary. Hyde said, “As the series progresses, it begins to take on a new narrative of the paradox of postcolonial entertainment.” ​

Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
48 1/4 x 48 x 1 1/2 in
Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D.
Image by Craig Smith for Heard Museum

Onondaga Nation Beaver Clan, b. 1974
For more than 20 years, Frank Buffalo Hyde has been refining and redefining what is considered to be contemporary Native American art, as a painter and muralist and as an art writer. He studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, his work has been shown in Russia, Japan, France and throughout galleries in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Miami. Buffalo Hyde’s work is dynamic and engages the miscommunications between Indigenous people and popular culture dealing with issues of appropriation and commodification. His paintings are in museum collections such as the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Autry Museum of the American West and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art. Most recently he has contributed programming to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Buffalo Hyde also had a show at the Google campus in Boulder, Colorado.