Game Changing Artist Pits Qimirpik (1986) born Iqaluit, NU
The year is 2010.
Twenty four year old Pits Qimirpik is about to make his permanent mark on Inuit art. His new carving will transform Inuit carving forever.
Recognizing the cultural significance of Qimirpik's sculpture, the TD Bank immediately acquires the carving for their Indigenous Art Collection.
Can you identify this Pits carving?
At such a young age, Qimirpik had the foresight and the wisdom to recognize that it was time...time for the world to see the real True North through an artist's eyes.
Inuit art wasn't only dancing bears, shamans and seals on ice floes.
Qimirpik felt strongly that Inuit art should depict "modern" Inuit youth. These Inuit kids play basketball and listen to rap music and wear hoodies with logos.
So Pits gave the art world his carving of a young Inuk man happily listening to his music on his MP3 player, complete with headphones.
TD Bank realized that Pits belonged to a new generation of carvers, These artists would mark the beginning of a new vanguard of artists. Artists who would connect the people of the Canadian Far North to the outside world.
In reality, the "modern" world has been insinuating itself into the Far North for decades. Skidoos replaced the less efficient dog sleds in the 1960s. Very few Inuit today ever lived in an igloo.
But Pits is credited with carving the first sculpture that shows the modern influence of the South on the Inuit in the form of electronic technology. Since then, he has carved more Inuks with MP3 players and Inuit youth playing basketball.
Pits is not just a "game changer". Qimirpik sculptures are consistently happy go lucky and effervescent. They often have a cartoonish visage like this quirky dancing squirrel or the black fox with the yellow paws.
These pieces remind me that life shouldn't always be taken so seriously but I also appreciate Pits' art because it often catches me off guard and gives me pause to re evaluate my expectations of a piece.
Who would have thought that two large and ungainly walruses could be agile and graceful as they dance together?
Pits Qimirpik, that's who!