Lisa and Christian - We have to be Child Like
acrylic on canvas, 1979, 36" x 30"
In this 1979 painting Morrisseau portrays his youngest children, Lisa and Christian, to set an example for himself and others. He pictures them to remind us to continue to be childlike in both attitude and attention. The dream-vision of the human population is to play...to seriously, joyfully; play.
This wonderful playful aspect of Norval's character underpinned everything he did, including his finest work. As a Bear he was formidable, or as a "Loon" he was...well, "loony" ...but as a rabbit; he was hilarious. Creative, delightful, curious, generous, trusting, turned on by everything...in a word, "childlike".
Norval's authentic painting entitled, "Lisa and Christian - We have to be Child Like" (1979) was not created to admonish his youngest children, though they might do well with some. It was painted to re-stimulate the child within the adult.
Christian Morrisseau, Norval's (now grown) son, is pictured here standing beside Bernice Morrisseau (Norval's niece), Barney Morrisseau (Norval's brother), Benji Morrisseau (Norval's nephew) and Victoria Kakegamic (Norval's eldest daughter). They pose beside a fake Norval Morrisseau painting displayed at the Artworld of Sherway gallery in Mississauga, Ontario.
In Jim Stevens' recent unauthorized biography about Norval Morrisseau he rightly discredits fake Morrisseau paintings of this genre yet Christian, Bernice, Barney, Benji and Victoria were all featured in his book. Were they all fooled into promoting this fake painting?
There are many Morrisseau relatives pretending to be artists, whether "disguised" as Norval Morrisseau or not. If, however, artistic genius and vision is a bloodline gift then where are the Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh relatives? I prefer to think of Norval as one of a kind.
Ronnie said it best..
Norval has always been somehow different from the rest of our family. He became a mystic beyond his control. He had visions which would mesmerize anyone who didn't believe his magic, because he knew he had the power. He is something both mysterious and complicated. Sometimes he seems to be in a trance or a hypnotic state, it is like he is in a different world.
Ronnie Morrisseauabout older brother Norval