polychrome wood, hair, fabric straps, 10 x 7 3/4 x 5 1/4 in (25.4 x 19.7 x 13.3 cm), without hair
inscribed in graphite, "Killer Whale / Portrait / by Klatle-Bhi / Nov/95".
Estimate: $4,000— $6,000
Private Collection, Ottawa.
Klatle-Bhi apprenticed with carver Simon Dick for two years, and has worked with Beau Dick, Wayne
Alfred and other artists. He was raised traditionally in a family with Squamish and Kwakwaka'wakw roots and prefers to use his ancestral name Klatle-Bhi (pronounced Cloth-Bay), given to him by his grandmother and meaning "head of a pod of killer whales."
Given Klatle-Bhi's background and name, the Killer Whale clearly holds special significance for him. As a portrait mask, Killer Whale Portrait emphasizes the human aspect of the image, and the artist concentrates on two-dimensional motifs, in particular the animal's dorsal fin, which is repeated with a variety of forms on forehead and cheeks in vivid polychrome and with subtle asymmetry.
References: For examples of masks by Klatle-Bhi see Robin K. Wright and Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast art at the Burke Museum (Seattle: Burke Museum, 2013), p. 112.