Larry McNeil Bio
Larry started his career as an artist with a photo degree, an old beat up Ford, a couple boxes in the back seat and some brassy Nikon cameras. He knew instinctively that what he sought couldn't be found in a studio; this called for a journey to find what America was all about. This journey has never stopped even though he's settled down a bit and is now a professor and busy artist.
Larry makes art and photography that is a visual manifestation of the provocative times in which we live. "It seems that even the mundane has become controversial, like using electricity or turning the key to your car." The content of his work and visual aesthetics helps prop up his notion that one may struggle to embody relevance, meaning and hopefully, a sense of grace with their work. "Art will always be about some kind of beauty, and some of the most meaningful art is nearly always about the struggles we face in life. What's captivating is how we're able to offer our interpretations of our encounters along the way and maybe share it with people who can indentify with it, or even those who cannot.
He has won numerous fellowships, indcluding the Van Deren Coke Fellowship from the University of New Mexico, Eiteljorg Fellowship, an Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and awards for his art from places like the National Geographic All Roads Program, and a New Works Award from En Foco.
McNeil's art is about the interesction of cultures, American mythology, irony, satire, and embodies a distinctive sense of American identity. He has been working with "Raven," the trickster from the Northwest Coast of America as a protagonist for his work for nearly twenty years. He has fun along the way scuffling with what are sometimes controversial topics, and is able to get the viewer to laugh with him at some of the absurdities we encounter.
Larry has lived at many places including Alaska, San Francisco, Santa Fe and now Idaho. He is from the Dakl'aweidi K'eet Gooshi H'it, Killer Whale Fin House in Klukwan Alaska, which is one of the oldest Tlingit tribal houses on the Northwest Coast.