Brian D. Tripp

Right From the Start

Brian D. Tripp

Right From the Start



Edition Size



ball pen, Hand-painting, Marker pen, Pencil


Cloth case


8 × 10 × .5 in




$ 8,000.00

Out of Print

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Bucknell University

Riffing off the centuries-old Native American tradition of Ledger Book drawings, Brian D. Tripp’s “Right From the Start” is an epic and encyclopedic series of iconic drawings and poems that were made over a decade in a classic “Composition” notebook. Tripp’s evocative drawings illustrate his particular take on Karuk iconography and cosmology with a focus on the anthropomorphizing of rocks and other geological forms. The book illuminates Karuk life and beliefs with passion and humor providing an instructive and inspiring window into one of the few indigenous cultures that have never been forced out of their people’s land of origin.
Brian D. Tripp is a well-loved and honored activist, artist, elder, dancer, poet, singer of the Karuk Nation and is well-known throughout the West Coast and beyond. Brian and other members of his family have been instrumental in and acclaimed for reviving Karuk traditions and integrating them into current Karuk culture.
Tripp currently has a retrospective exhibit at Humboldt State University and a group of 4 of his paintings was recently acquired by the S.F. MoMA. In 2019 he was awarded the California Living Heritage Award from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts — only the third time in the Fresno-based nonprofit’s 20-plus year history that its highest honor for lifetime achievement had been presented. Brian D. Tripp is honored both as a traditional dancer and singer, and an enigmatic, outspoken contemporary artist and poet in his Northern California Karuk Tribal community and beyond. Tripp uses his artwork to demonstrate his commitment to his community and Native American culture and his lifelong devotional interest in giving life to traditions and history. Tripp’s artist’s books and drawings pay reverence to the legendary “Ledger Book Drawings” made by Native Americans displaced from their tribes and lands and moved to camps in the prairies. Given old accounting ledger books, artists kept distant images alive by drawing their past lives and native lands. Tripp’s art provides a new perspective on imagery familiar to the artist and Native American tradition: motifs from basket work, arrowheads, ceremonial objects, and Karuk regalia – symbols passed down for generations are reinvigorated by Tripp’s use of vibrant color and formal geometric iconography. His contemporary versions pay homage to the inherent power of images long in use.
Brian D. Tripp has maintained his creative practice and exhibited his art for over 40 years. His work has been exhibited at the New Museum, New York; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Oakland Museum of California; and New York’s Museum of Art and Design. And are in the permanent collections of the Berkeley Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Heard Museum, Morris Graves Museum of Art, The Oakland Museum of California, Washington State Museum, and others. His unique books have been collected by the Library of Congress, University of California Berkeley, Stanford Yale, the Getty Research Institute, Harvard, Yale and numerous other libraries and Museums across the world.
Sophia Kramer’s of White Iris Books (Kramer has been Brian’s binder for over a decade) designed the ‘golden bling’ binding with the cut-out revealing the icon of the community spiral of life, extending Brian’s dramatic style and taciturn sense of humor to the book’s cover.