Iktomi, in Lakota-Sioux spirituality, is a spiritual deity held in the oral history and storytelling aspect of the Indigenous culture.
He, who takes the form of a spider, is more often then not portrayed as a negative trickster spirit against the people, believed to entangle webs in the lives of people and create a domino effect of unfortunate coincidences, depression, anger, and self-pity. His ability to control people unknowingly like puppet strings to create unfortunate events in the lives of individuals, believed to be preyed on the weak spirited and weak minded.
In everyday communication, it is often said to "have an iktomi on your back" relates to said sudden chain of negative coincidences over a short or long period of time. Often this expression is used towards people who are suffering depression, heavily into alcoholism, or doing things to hurt other people.
Aside from the quick background of who Iktomi is, I often see him portrayed as said being, shifting between human or specimen. Though I enjoy a more surreal interpretation that shows the predatation aspect of spiders often involving coiling, constriction, and injection. ironically as often as we find spiders in the bathroom, the bathtub to me represented vulnerability as well as most associated with a time when we are usually alone and by ourselves.
The smaller side on the left depicts a house fly being attacked, which scales the humans down to the same level of prey.
The only faces of the piece are arachnids, where the human ones are shrouded in the constricting organic-like vines, and the other's skull remains at the bottom of his feet, replaced by old, rotten. and broken picture frames..which represents my drastic change in identity-shifting.
With currently an "iktomi on my back" for at least 4 months now, I basically drew what it feels like, which is rather new for me personally as an artist. My works have usually been socio-political at the very least. Though "Afternoon Tea" was as such, the atmosphere and "milieu" of the piece was much more darker and serious than I had done before, and it extremely appealed to me...which I believe will result in more of these surreal ink works from now on.
The official end of my "Indigasphyxia" thesis (the impact of colonization and technology on indigenous culture), and a shift towards a "Milieu" focus (personal experiences in my environment, and being a prey of Iktomi since December)