Benjamin Chee Chee

Cultural Background: Ojibway, Temagami Reserve, Bear Island Ontario

Born in Temagami, Ontario, Chee Chee was a self-taugh artist. His father died when he was two months old and he lost track of his mother. One reason behind his drive for success as a painter was his ambition to be reunited with her.

He was a prominent member of the second generation of Woodland Indian painters, a native art movement that began in the early nineteen-sixties and has since become one of the important art schools in Canada. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Chee Chee pursued an economical graphic style, a reduction of line and image more in keeping with mainstream international modern art.

At the age of thirty-two and at the height of a new found success as an artist and printmaker Chee Chee died tragically by committing suicide.