Alison Bremner, (b. 1989)
Wat’sa with a Pearl Earring, 2014
Collection of the Anchorage Museum, 2019.7.4
Tlingit artist Alison Bremner’s Wat’sa with a Pearl Earring is a digital collage of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring—a canonical work in Western art history—and a Tsimshian otter mask. In Tsimshian mythology, land otters often take the form of beautiful women, appearing to unsuspecting men to steal them away. By juxtaposing these two artworks, Bremner pushes back against the male gaze while playfully commenting on the exclusion of Northwest Coast art from the art historical canon.