1. James Bama Black Elk´s Great Grandson Limited Edition Canvas $750.00
Clifton DeSerca, a Sioux, lives and works in the modern world but has strong ties to the last days of the free-roaming horseback Native American of the plains. His great-grandfather was Black Elk, a Sioux holy man whose autobiography is considered one of the most important pieces of Native American literature. As a young man, Black Elk participated in the battle of the Little Big Horn. In his older years, he told his story to John G. Neihardt who translated it into the classic Black Elk Speaks. DeSerca serves his people by being involved in a reservation outreach program working with alcoholics. He is portrayed here wearing a Sioux headdress and a historic shirt from the trading-post period.
2. James Bama Heading For The High Ground Limited Edition Canvas $745.00
To create the scene that would become Heading for Higher Ground, artist James Bama called upon his friend Jim Williams. Williams, says Bama, is areal modern-day mountain man. He used to trap and he lived in the Southwest in a cave. He had an old-fashioned porcelain bathtub and all that you would expect. He’s a terrific guy. With Williams signed on to model for the painting, they traveled to nearby Rimrock Dude Ranch to borrow a horse for the day. James Bama’s portraits of the denizens of the Southwest are renowned for their touching combination of Old West valor and modern reality. With Heading for Higher Ground, Bama hearkens back to both a legendary time, and a time that could have been only yesterday.
3. James Bama Waiting For The Grand Entry Limited Edition Canvas $850.00
Every rodeo begins with a grand entry as the contestants and other riders follow the flag bearers in a serpentine course across the arena. At a junior rodeo in Cody, artist James Bama spotted Kenny Claybaugh waiting for the grand entry and was struck by the colorful combination of the yellow slicker, American flag and the dark glasses. Regarded as one of the sport’s top pickup men, Claybaugh worked the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, among many others. It is the pickup man’s duty to rescue a rider from a pitching bronc after the required seconds have elapsed and the horn is blown to signal a completed ride. It is a highly responsible task demanding skill and nerve, as a misstep can result in a rider’s falling and perhaps being trampled or slammed against an ungiving fence.The pickup horse must also be well trained so that it does not fear moving in close to the bronc’s flying hoofs and does not shy away as pickup man and bronc rider reach for one another.
4. James Bama 1880s Still Life Of Saddle And Rifle Canvas Edition $295.00
5. James Bama Buffalo Bill 4th Of July Limited Edition Canvas $475.00
For James Bama, moving to Wyoming from New York City proved to be, perhaps, one of the finest career choices he ever made.I paint people, says Jim.When I first moved out here, folks were still alive that lived here before Wyoming was even a state. The frontier was still alive. I would go to pow-wows, rodeos, the reservations and even rendezvous to seek these people out. No one was focusing then on painting real people as I did. Buffalo Bill is obviously a larger than life figure in Cody, WY and this painting is the result of re-enactor Charlie Evans from North Platte, NE appearing in a 4th of July parade.Charlie was coming down the street and there was a group of children in front of me. He had stopped to say hello to them and they were just thrilled. The original Buffalo Bill probably did the exact thing on the same street 100 years before.
6. James Bama Crow Indian With Peace Pipe Limited Edition Canvas $595.00
James Bama met Henry Bright Wings during a medicine ceremony performed in the tepee of a Crow medicine man in Wyola, Montana. He was then 68. Bama liked his classic face, which he thought would have been appropriate on a buffalo nickel. When Bright Wings visited Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming several years later, Bama dressed him in historical costume including a pre-1900 headdress and a very old buffalo robe from the Old Trail Town Museum in Cody. In earlier times the right to wear a headdress had to be earned, usually in battle. Today even women and children sometimes wear a showy nontraditional war bonnet for pow-wow dance parades and celebrations. Many men feel that their age is entitlement enough, but others will not wear a headdress because they do not consider it their proper. Bama met a Pine Ridge Reservation Indian who would not pose in a headdress even though he was 45 years old and certainly looked venerable enough. During the Indian Wars of the post-Civil War years, Bright Wings’ people, the Crows, frequently allied themselves with the military against such traditional enemies as the Sioux and the Cheyenne. Crow scouts rode to their deaths with Custer.
7. James Bama Heritage Anniversary Edition $695.00
James Bama has derived a great deal of joy from the friendships he has developed with many of the Native American subjects of his portraits. Years ago, he discovered that on a personal level, they are often very different from the confrontational image they often project. For example, Wes Studi, a full-blooded Cherokee, established an impressive screen-acting career with his intense portrayals of a Pawnee war-party leader in Dances with Wolves and as the vengeful Magua in The Last of the Mohicans, yet Bama found him genial and obliging. During their visits to the Bama home, Studi and his children often spent happy hours playing basketball with the artist and his son. The cultural gap was bridgedas two fathers enjoyed time with their children. The animal hide stretched behind Chavez is covered in paintings depicting Indian dances, a buffalo hunt and a captured American flag. In the absence of a written language, such paintings recorded events in the life of an individual or family. Sometimes the paintings were done in calendar style, visually recounting the highlights of each passing year. The paintings often decorated a warrior’s tepee, so that all who passed could recognize the great deeds of the warrior within.
8. James Bama Holy Man Holy City Limited Edition Canvas $545.00
This is one of my favorite paintings because of the combination of the location and the subject, says James Bama.I had the chance to attend two different ceremonies this holy man performed. He’s a Crow Indian and a member of the Whistling Water Clan. The Crow are the only plains tribe with a clan system. I think there are about ten different clans in the tribe and the Whistling Water Clan is the largest. That makes him a very important person in Crow society and an impressive subject to paint. The Holy City is a lava formation about eight miles from my house. It is in the Bighorn National Forest, which leads into Yellowstone National Park. The same volcanic activity that created Yellowstone’s landscape formed these. They are very dramatic. Putting the two together made a great deal of sense to me because they are both such moving subjects. At first take, one would think that they represent two very different kinds of inspiration, but the more you think about it, the more you realize they actually belong together.
9. James Bama Chuck Wagon in the Snow ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON $245.00
The chuck wagon, invented in the 1860s by Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight, served as home base for cowboys on open range cattle drives and roundups. A welcome site at the end of hard days, the chuck wagon provides warm meals and companionship out of the saddle. It remains popular today in the open-range states of the far West where distances are great and it is impractical for cowboys to return to the comfort of a ranch house every night. Of the quiet landscape, Chuck Wagon in the Snow, Bama says he finds magic in the snow and its softening effects upon whatever it touches near his home in Cody, Wyoming.
Bama is referred to as an “American Realist.” Through his detailed portraits of Native Americans and cowboys, we see the American West as it is today and not a vision of the Old West. Bama enrolled in the Art Students League under the GI Bill. He had a twenty-two year career in commercial art as one of Manhattan’s top illustrators, before devoting his time to award-winning success in fine art. It is a testament to his talent and its enduring influence that his work from those early years continues to be honored in the world of illustration, science fiction and fantasy.
10. James Bama Sage Grinder ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON $395.00
The Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the Buffalo Bill Historical Society in Cody, Wyoming provides one of the most concise descriptions of James Bama’s artwork it has been our pleasure to read:
The artist's natural talent, academic training, and practical professional experience as an illustrator equipped him with the tools to succeed as an easel painter. Influenced by photography, abstract expressionism, pop art, and illustration, Bama fused these media and styles into an ultra-detailed brand of realism based on complex compositions. Unlike many artists working in the American West today, he steadfastly refused to paint the Old West but instead dedicated his career to painting real people of the modern West. His detailed portraits capture the ethnic and cultural complexity of the American West through people who live simultaneously in two worlds.
Sage Grinder is one of Bama’s most recognized paintings and a perfect example of his vision for capturing the West. “My model for this painting,” begins Bama, “was a young Navajo girl, a student at Brigham Young University. One summer, on the outskirts of Cody, she and a number of other Indians re-created an early native village to demonstrate the manner in which the Indians lived before the arrival of Columbus. Charging admission, they taught such crafts as sage-grinding, cooking and the making of weapons. The entire encampment was all very well done. It was a rare opportunity for me to pose them and to produce a series of paintings (Pre-Columbian Indian with Atlatl & Pre-Columbian Indian are included in this group). Before the summer ended they packed up camp and disappeared. I have not heard from them since.”
The Greenwich Workshop Anniversary Fine Art Edition of Sage Grinder puts on canvas what could previously only be viewed under glass. At 18” x 14” you can see the extraordinary attention to detail that once led a collector to x-ray a James Bama painting to determine whether he had actually painted an original work art or doctored a photograph (the x-ray proved it was a painting). No Western art collection could be complete without the inclusion of a James Bama painting as part of it. The Anniversary Edition Canvas of Sage Grinder is truly one of James Bama’s best.
11. James Bama 1880s Still Life of Saddle and Rifle SMALLWORK EDITION ON $295.00
12. James Bama The Pawnee $545.00
James Bama has derived a great deal of joy from the friendships he has developed with many of the Native American subjects of his portraits. Years ago, he discovered that on a personal level, they are often very different from the confrontational image they often project. For example, Wes Studi, a full-blooded Cherokee, established an impressive screen-acting career with his intense portrayals of a Pawnee war-party leader in Dances with Wolves and as the vengeful Magua in The Last of the Mohicans, yet Bama found him genial and obliging. During their visits to the Bama home, Studi and his children often spent happy hours playing basketball with the artist and his son. The cultural gap was bridgedas two fathers enjoyed time with their children.
13. James Bama Northern Cheyenne Wolf Scout $495.00
Northern Cheyenne Wolf Scout - Artist James Bamaâ€™s portrait of a Northern Cheyenne Wolf Scout is among his most beloved portrayals of a proud warrior decorated with trophies from both war and hunting. His headdress and armbands, made of wolf hide, give him the power and stealth of the wolf. He wears a necklace of buffalo teeth and around his torso is the rawhide lariat for catching wild horses. Hanging down from his waist is hair from a scalp that he carries with him so that the scalped person will be unable to kill him in the afterlife. This scout has blackened his eyes and hands to represent the claws and eyes of a wolf. On his face, arms and chest, he first smeared buffalo or deer fat, then white clay from the riverbanks to represent the white underbelly of the wolf. It was an honor to be appointed a scout by a Cheyenne warrior chief. Scouts ranged for days at a time looking for buffalo, horse herds and threatening white soldiers. Usually three scouts would travel together so one could always be on watch at night, and if needed one could be sent back to camp with news. When the news was important, the scout would howl like a wolf to alert the camp as he approached camp.
14. James Bama Young Indian Dancer $245.00
Young Indian Dancer - This boy is one of four Arapaho brothers who danced at a festival. From the badges on his shirt (hand-made from snapshots of his family) to the unique markings on his face, the young dancer is a perfect example of Native American youth today. "Young Indian Dancer" is a natural partner to "Indian Boy at Crow Fair," featured another of the four dancing brothers.