Simon Tookome, artist and whipper
April 2, 2011 12:17 AM   Subscribe

"I'm proud of being recognized as an artist, but I really want to be known as someone with a special talent for the whip." Simon Tookoome, who passed away last year, was justly celebrated as an artist in his lifetime. You can view 39 of his pieces in The Canadian Art Database (including my favorite of his, the sculpture Shaman Wolf). But whipping was closer to his heart, and in his prime may have been the world's greatest whipper. Sadly, I could find no video of him from before 2000 on the internet, but here he is at 72. You can read a description of him at his peak in this condescending Time article about the 1972 Arctic Winter Games. And you can watch a few more Simon Tookoome videos here.
posted by Kattullus (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
When I said that I could find no video of him in his prime on the internet, I wasn't entirely truthful. I believe that you can see him in this CBC report on the 1970 Arctic Winter Games. I think he's the whipper you see for two seconds from 19:03-5 (the one further away from the camera).
posted by Kattullus at 12:20 AM on April 2, 2011

Oh, and I forgot... article in the first link via krilli.
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 AM on April 2, 2011

When did he change his last name from 'Belmont'?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:42 AM on April 2, 2011 [4 favorites]

When a problem comes along ...
posted by kcds at 5:03 AM on April 2, 2011

Tookoome is the beginning of a fairly radical change in Inuit art, from government attempts to deomsticise the style, to an abosorbtion of modernism and a reworking of what that means. You can see what this lead to in the work of Annie Poogootook or Shuviana Ashoona (her monster here.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:59 AM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by brennen at 8:59 PM on April 2, 2011

brennen: Dang.

I think this guy had a textbook example of a life well lived.
posted by Kattullus at 12:41 AM on April 3, 2011

That "here he is at 72" video is unwatchable, and the last link to seems to be down. Damn.
posted by dozo at 7:35 AM on April 3, 2011

How is it unwatchable, dozo? Is it not loading for you? It's loading for me.
posted by Kattullus at 3:03 PM on April 3, 2011

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