boys don’t cry
Digital prints on hand-dyed linen
123 x 173 in. (312.42 x 439.42 cm)
Art Gallery of Ontario, Purchased with funds from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the Art Toronto 2019 Opening Night Preview, 2019, 2019/2305
A portrait of the artist’s hand in the upper left is the only original element among the appropriated images, insignia, and text composing this work. Three of the central panels refer to The Cure’s 1980 album, from which Linklater borrowed the work’s title, including the iconic silhouetted image of front man Robert Smith that appeared on related promotional posters, stickers, and T-shirts. The other panels picture Jesse Ed Davis, an Indigenous guitarist who played with the band Taj Mahal, among other acts; the logo of the American Indian Movement (AIM), dyed pink; a photograph of graffiti from Alcatraz Island, where AIM activists famously protested for nineteen months between 1969 and 1971; and, sewn in sideways, George Caleb Bingham’s 1845 painting Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Individually, these images all have personal resonance for Linklater and recall significant periods in his life; together, they reflect on processes of identity formation and the construction of Indigenous masculinity.