The Project

Miss Chief Eagle Testickle

Kent Monkman's gender-fluid alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle – or Miss Chief for short – often appears in Monkman's work as a time-traveling, shape-shifting, supernatural being who reverses the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples. Serving as a witness and narrator of told and untold histories of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island, she disrupts myths of Western nationhood while elevating Indigenous worldviews.

Miss Chief's appearances in Monkman's work over the past two decades hint at a sprawling millenia-long narrative. She tells her story in detail in the two-volume book The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island (Penguin Random House, 2023). Monkman envisions Miss Chief as a Cree Legendary Being alongside better-known figures such as Wîsahkêcâhk (the trickster) and piyêsiwak (thunderbirds).

Miss Chief speaks to traditions of gender-fluidity and sexual diversity present among Indigenous societies on Turtle Island since time immemorial. Accepted and honoured in their communities, individuals of non-binary gender were often respected healers, visionaries, and artisans, and their responsibilities to their community were important for ensuring their peoples' spiritual well-being. Contemporary terms that encompass this tradition include Two Spirit and Indigiqueer.

© Kent Monkman

Portraits of a Legend

Monkman features his alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, in his new series of acrylic portraits, scantily clad in her signature dreamcatcher bra and high heels, hunting for love and communing with her kin – the indigenous animals of Turtle Island (North America). With a lush painterly style that evokes plein-air eighteenth-century pastoral landscapes, this series captures the gestural immediacy of studies created by old masters in oil, ink, pen, and chalk, but suggest a time on Turtle Island long before European contact. While Monkman is known for his large history paintings interrogating Western art history – including The Met's monumental mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People) diptych – with these paintings the artist offers an intimate glimpse of Miss Chief as a legendary being immersed in the unspoiled beauty of Turtle Island.

Pricing, Names & Dimensions
$15,000 each

Study for amiskiss, 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Study for Cat Scratch Fever,
9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Study for I Am in the Air You Breathe,
12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Study for I Am Water (
pictured), 12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Study for The Fun Is in The Chase,
9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Study for The Sneak Up,
9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm)

© Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman, How the West Was Won, Copper plate etching with Watercolor on Acid-Free Paper with deckled edges

How the West Was Won

How the West Was Won, a copperplate etching hand-painted in watercolor by the artist, explores themes central to Kent Monkman's work. In a practice spanning more than two decades, Monkman has challenged colonial power dynamics, often reversing the stereotypical roles of Indigenous-settler relationships in cheeky encounters set against majestic North American landscapes. Early examples of this include: Ceci n'est pas une pipe (2001), Heaven and Earth (2001), and Cree Master 1 (2002). How the West Was Won engages these themes within the iconography of the American West – Monkman's alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle dominates a cowboy against the backdrop of a desert, an open sky, and the imposing sandstone buttes of Monument Valley.

Pricing & Dimensions
$1,500 (unframed)
Edition of 30

  • Sheet: 11 x 9.25 in. (27.9 x 23.5 cm)
  • Image: 6 x 6 in. (15.2 x 15.2 cm)

© Kent Monkman

The Artist

Kent Monkman is an interdisciplinary Cree visual artist. A member of Fisher River Cree Nation in Treaty 5 Territory (Manitoba, Canada), he lives and works between New York City and Toronto.

Known for his provocative interventions into Western European and American art history, Monkman explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience—the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experiences—across painting, film/video, performance, and installation. Monkman’s gender-fluid alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle often appears in his work as a time-traveling, shape-shifting, supernatural being who reverses the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples.

Monkman’s artworks are held in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Denver Art Museum; the Hirshhorn Museum; the Hood Museum of Art; the Heard Museum; Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; the Glenbow Museum; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Art Gallery of New South Wales; and La Maison Rouge, Paris. Private collections that house his works include Art Bridges; the Horseman Foundation; the Tia Collection, the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation; Forge Project; the Gochman Family Collection; the Sobey Art Foundation; and the Rob & Monique Sobey Foundation. His works have been exhibited at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; the National Gallery of Canada; Royal Ontario Museum; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Hayward Gallery; Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art; Musée d’art Contemporain de Rochechouart; Maison Rouge; the Philbrook Museum of Art; Palais de Tokyo; and the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College. Monkman has had two nationally touring solo exhibitions, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (2017-2020), and The Triumph of Mischief (2007-2010). In 2019, Monkman was commissioned as the inaugural artist to make two monumental paintings for The Met’s Great Hall Commission project. He has created other site-specific performances at the Royal Ontario Museum; Compton Verney, Warwickshire; and the Denver Art Museum.

Monkman’s short film and video works, collaboratively made with Gisèle Gordon, have screened at festivals such as the Berlinale (2007, 2008) and the Toronto International Film Festival (2007, 2015). Monkman and Gordon’s literary collaboration, The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island was published in 2023. Monkman is the recipient of the Palm Springs Art Museum Q+ Award, Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2017), an honorary doctorate degree from OCAD University (2017), the Indspire Award (2014), and the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014). In 2023, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada—Canada’s highest civilian honour.

Photo Credit: Aaron Wynia

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