Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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“the Big rock (rock stars)”



The idea for this piece came from a photo I had seen in the Inuit Art Quarterly (Winter 2000), about the 20th anniversary of a Co-op opening. The image was of a person carrying a large stone in a contest. Who knows why, but this stuck with me and I began to think about how something could work.

With the shape of the stone that I used here, I was able to have a person in the process of picking up the rock — and who is just getting ready to stand and carry it.

In the photo, there were a number of people watching the carriers. So I decided to have a small audience watching my guy as well. I then began to think of who might be the people who were watching the contest. I remembered a drawing I had seen a number of years ago where the artist had used faces of people cut out of magazines — one being Clark Gable! I thought of people I knew as artists and then thought of artists whose work made an impression on me when I was first introduced to carving back in 1992.

I chose artists that I became very fond of over the years — all are gone now — so this is my small homage.

From left to right:

It turned out that the drawing that I referred to with the cut-outs was by Peter Pitseolak, “The Eskimo Will Talk Like the White Man” (1940-42).

I hope that this is as much fun for you as it was for me!

—Michael Massie

Michael Massie

Michael Massie


Inuit, Métis

Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

(1962- )

Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.

Spirit Wrestler Gallery

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
Phone: 604-669-8813


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one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.

Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5