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Why First Nations visual artist Kent Monkman is ready for the country

Kent Monkman is one of the most admired painters in Canada, evidenced by the popularity of his works in collections like the National Gallery of Canada. He invited CBC Arts out for a visit to his new Prince Edward County studio to explain what drove the move and how he thinks it will affect his work.

Respected painter and video artist recently moved to Prince Edward County in Ontario

Celebrated Canadian artist Kent Monkman recently moved camp to Prince Edward County in eastern Ontario, where the vista outside his studio window mimics the one he's painting on his easel. 3:09

Kent Monkman is one of the most admired painters in Canada, a status which the popularity of his works in collections like the National Gallery of Canada attests to. He walks a difficult line — while his paintings, sculptures, and videos tend to deal with the history of colonization in Canada, he balances the tough subject matter with humour, camp, and provocative imagery. Monkman's alter ego, a glamourous and powerful character named Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, meets the issues in his work with equal parts bemusement and disdain.

So far, Monkman has always worked in the city, even though his epic paintings are most often set in a landscape reminiscent of 19th-century canvases. It's fitting, then, that he's recently moved camp to Prince Edward County in eastern Ontario, where the vista outside his studio window mimics the one he's painting on his easel.

He invited CBC Arts out for a visit to explain what drove the move and how he thinks it will affect his work.

Watch Exhibitionists on Sundays at 4:30 p.m./5 p.m. NT on CBC-TV.

Kent Monkman: The Rise and Fall of Civilization. Co-presented by ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. Oct. 15 to Jan.10. The Gardiner Museum, 111 Queens Park, Toronto, ON. $15; $11 seniors; $9 students; free to Gardiner Museum members. 416.586.8080.

Kent Monkman: Miss Chief in Motion at ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. Oct 16. The Gardiner Museum. 3pm.

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