Raised on the Crow reservation in Montana, Wendy Red Star received a B.F.A. in sculpture from Montana State University and an M.F.A. in sculpture from UCLA. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon, where she creates art that challenges racial stereotypes through irony.
Here, along with her daughter Beatrice, Red Star poses in traditional Apsáalooke (Crow) regalia. Each item of clothing, from the elk tooth dress and beaded belt to the shawl and moccasins, signals the honors and virtues of its maker and wearer. The double self-portrait references the importance of passing down knowledge and cultural identity through generations. The photograph’s title also points to women’s rights and the connection between gender and racial equality. Red Star explains, “As a brown person, as a brown artist, your work is political.”