Art Type
Original Drawing
Original graphite and oil/chalk pastel drawing on paper
Original Drawing
Size (in)
(H x W): 44 x 30 in
Size (cm)
(H x W): 112 x 76 cm
Not Framed, please enquire
Product ID

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Jutai’ by Jutai Toonoo — Cape Dorset Inuit Art from Dorset Fine Arts 2012 original hand drawing collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.

Condition:          No condition to be noted.

Description by Artist:     No description by artist found.

Notes from DaVic Gallery:   You look at this intriguing portrait and you ask yourself, is this Inuit Art?   Would you have even considered this drawing to be categorized as Inuit Art had you not seen in this gallery or presented by Dorset Fine Arts?   Perhaps the need to verify is what brought you to the details page for this drawing.  Jutai Toonoo certainly will challenge your secured sense of what you understood Inuit Art is all about.  Jutai’s drawings cast a spell on us, the magic that attracts us and keeps us staring at his works, is the intensity of life that breathes from all of his works.  The viewer can feel the energy Jutai put into each of his works and now that energy attracts us, calls us to try to understand what he is expressing.  That is the keyword in Jutai’s works, expression.

Such an amazing, intriguing, refreshing surprise to the Inuit Art collector and connoisseurs alike!  Are you scratching your head?  Don’t.  Simply admire this beautiful and amazing composition that truly overflows with life energy, despite the topic, and that takes higher value when you know how and why this is such a rare piece based on the cultural background of the author.  How can you not just bathe in such moment expressed with such energy Jutai pours into each and every piece he created?

In the first place portraits are quiet rare to see in Inuit art, and two, there is certainly nothing in Jutai’s drawings that may resemble what we know of Inuit Art.  The keywords in Jutai’s works is expressiveness and energy.  “It almost becomes a part of me, what I’m putting on paper.  It comes out of me and gets transferred into the paper, and sometimes it drains me and I have no energy left when I am done with a thing.”  Jutai had said. (Inuit Art Quarterly, Fall 2018 issue, page 36)

Indeed, and in this drawing Jutai is the land.  He is the land…  His face is a map of land, water and snow.  The land makes up for his cheekbones, his nose, his eyelids, and part of his forehead.  The water makes for his cheeks, ears, chin and sides.  Snow makes for his eyes, also part of his cheeks, nose, and majority of his head.  His entire head is well defined and does not simply fuse into the background, which he chose to be red.  At the bottom we see part of his blue shirt. It is interesting that though he presents his portrait as part of a landscape, he chose to abruptly confine this landscape with a red background and a t-shirt as small space as these take in the portrait.   His face looks a bit swollen, perhaps he just woke up and looks into the mirror and what he sees in himself is that he is land….

The value of Jutai’s portraits is their uniqueness result of his focused energy of expressing his most inner feelings onto a paper.  Trying to imagine what it would have taken to see himself the way he expressed it in this portrait one cannot prevent from exclaiming, “wow …” and feel the energy of expression.

Now imagine this framed with large frame edges in red to further expand the background already used in the drawing … proudly and prominently displayed in your living room … how more expressive can this get?