1000 People Fed to Lions
New Orleans, Louisiana
Demond Melancon (b. 1978) is a BIPOC contemporary artist born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward with extensive roots in the 200+ year Black Masking Culture of New Orleans. Melancon has become well known for his meticulously hand-sewn beadwork used to create contemporary portraiture and massive Mardi Gras Indian suits. Melancon has been represented by the Arthur Roger Gallery since 2019. Over the past three years, Demond’s work has been featured in 11 exhibits, including Art Miami 2019 and the 2019 London Design Festival at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Joan Mitchell Center Residency, 2020
My artistic practice is to create complex and multidimensional portrayals to reflect indigenous cultures and diasporic histories. I work solely with a needle, thread, canvas, and very small glass seed beads. As a Big Chief in the Black Masking Culture of New Orleans, I create massive suits with 14+ intricately beaded patches (crown, dickie, vest, aprons, and arm patches) surrounded in colorful ostrich plumes. In addition to being a Big Chief, I’ve developed an emerging contemporary art practice using the same beading techniques.”