Floyd Kuptana'To depict the change from physical to the spiritual is a difficult undertaking for any artist. Yet the inner life force that moves us beyond the coporeal is the subject matter of much of Floyd Kuptana's work... His work in both bone and stone brings a strange and fresh view of the Inuit Spirit world... Most of the figures in Kuptana’s work change with alternate views. His sculptures require a rethinking of the figures, leading to additional discoveries'
Published in The Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring 2002
Floyd Kuptana was born in Cape Perry, Northwest Territories in 1964. He later moved with his parents Philip and Elizabeth to Paulatuk, before settling in Toronto in 1996. Kuptana studied and worked with Francis Ruben and Abraham Anghik Ruben. Later, he did the rough stonework for another cousin, David Ruben Piqtoukun, before branching out in 1992 to work for himself and develop a highly personal style. Kuptana’s work is often described as surrealistic, metamorphic,and highly spiritual.
Using a wide range of stone that he sources internationally, he carves animals, faces, and fantastic shapes in a fusion of traditional myth and his own imagination. Eyes and teeth are often exaggerated, giving some pieces a grotesque quality that is further heightened by his use of found materials such as leather, bone, and metal.
Self-taught - Floyd's career began by helping his cousins Francis and Abraham Angik Ruben to sand and polish their carvings. He subsequently worked for another cousin, David Ruben Piqtoukin, roughing his carvings, before emerging with his own unique style during the 1990s.
Featured on the cover of Inuit Art Quarterly, 2008:19
Permanent collection, Cerney Inuit Collection, Bern, Switzerland