Indiangiver: Cheyenne Randall the Ink Master

Cheyenne Randall, aka Indiangiver, has been adding tattoos to photos for many years. I had one created of me as I love the application and intensity of the added ink. Indiangiver does what he wants, when he wants to and does not follow any rules. He is super creative with his medium and has since created large scale paste up murals and prints.

The relationship to his subject matter is authentic and genuine. Friendships have been created throughout the years with celebrities such as James Franco and have influenced some of Indiangiver’s pieces. Just take a look at his IG feed and you will see what I am referring to.

Cheyenne and actor James Franco

I have been a fan of yours for years! Not only do I personally love ink, but I love the way you place the ink onto your subjects. How do you choose your subjects? I use the term subjects lightly as so many are well known celebrities. You use a lot of recognizable faces in your work.

Thank you. I’m continuously ever so grateful to have people interested in what I do as an artist. That #shoppedtattoos is one of many creative outlets for me in order to stay sane in this world. In the beginning it was just like all the classics and most iconic photos I could find. I was totally irresponsible in using tattoos from tattooers and not crediting them, I needed to be called out and I was, and learned to stick with mostly unknown vintage flash or to do collaborations with tattooers which is way more rad anyway. Choosing the subject these days is harder for me now mostly because I don’t have much time to make them anymore and I want it always to be really good. In the end, I usually pick someone I’ve done before like Audrey. I’ll never stop working on her photos. My fave.

How does your audience respond to your work? I have seen many a celebrity with your work on your IG account and I love that they appreciate what you do.

I’m extremely blown away that I don’t get more haters and “know it alls.” When the first round of media came my way I was eaten alive in the comment sections of most news articles. “Too many tattoos” ‘blasphemy” “Marilyn would never” but that never really rolled into my social media pages, so overall there is a positive response to what I do. I do a lot more than just photoshop tattoos which I think most of them could care less about.  Most of the followers I have came from celebrities posting my work so they came for the tattoos…. on famous people.

What other mediums do you work with? Are there any that intimidate you but you’d like to try?

I’ve been a mixed media artist collaborating with my dad since I was a child. The computers came up just a few years ago and I adapted but now I’m less interested in expressing myself in a 2 dimensional language. I’m moving into some video art and working with some people on a documentary as we speak. Definitely intimidated by that but putting my landscape photos I’ve been doing for years into motion now has me a tad obsessed and glued to my computer even more now.  

What has been your favorite piece and experience to date?

Hmm, probably an Elvis Head I wheat pasted on a dilapidated barn way out in the middle of Montana. It’s when #pastingthewest was born. I started putting posters up on old barns and other various abandonment but way the f*** out where maybe nobody would see it. It feels really good to leave work up somewhere in nature like that. Now people go hunting for them and send me photos that they did, that’s insanely badass.

If you could collaborate with ANY artist, who would it be with and why?

Jesse Draxler. I love what he’s doing. He’s chopping up and merging and melding and overlapping people from photos. It’s super clean and refined black and white pieces. Sometimes his work feels like a relative to my work and I think we see the world perhaps similarly and it’d be great to see what we come up with.

What is next for you as I know you have gallery representation now? How did that come about? Did they approach you or did you approach them?

What’s next in store is more music and film. I’ll always do the tattooed photos and prints but I have bigger seas to set out into. I’m a true believer in self manifestation, be it a bunch of bad shit or super good stuff. You need that bad stuff though too as that’s the point of coming to Earth. But yeah, I’ve been having a lot of fun taking songs like Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Madness and chopped it up and rewrote the music to a very vocal edited song, I’m an appropriation artist through and through. More murals coming up but I don’t really see myself going too hard for that life. It’s just something fun do.

Treason Gallery has been good to me over the last year. We had a nice ride after my solo show “Hollywoodnt”  last year. James (Franco) came up to Seattle and collaborated with me on a big ass painting. One of the Owners Matt was managing me for a while and he approached me at a time in my life when shit got too overwhelming and I was self destructing. He, Alex and Dom kept my spirits up and supported pretty much any idea I had. We still work together; Matt and I on bigger jobs and I still sell custom or limited print work through them. I’m really proud of those guys and the old art world has never been anything I cared to be apart of. Showing in galleries to me doesn’t matter much and I can’t stand a lot of art or the people that allow a few artists behind the velvet rope each year. Fuck that, so when Treason hit me up I looked into their lineup and curation and dug it. They’re like me in the way that I’m gonna go out and just make shit and not wait for a community to accept my credentials.

What can you tell me that you have never told another journalist before regarding your work?

That that link between my work and Instagram is pretty much dead, it definitely feels dead to me, the algorithm thing is some satanic shit to keep people glued to their phones and disconnect them from real life things, and thus feel insecure, and desensitized once they put it down. People have to interact with their followers frequently in order to even be seen on other peoples feeds like fuck off I’m going to be 40 this year. I’m awake AF and it’s time to get to work. I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface of what I’m supposed to be doing as an artist in this life time yet. But sure as shit know it’s not gonna have much to do with an app full of commercials and millions of “world traveler” models. How many fucking models does there need to be and who the actual fuck are all these photographers? And for what? To pose? For what? Currently I am posting what I want when I want and don’t care if even two people like it.

Where can our readers learn more about you?

Pioneer Square Seattle. My website. I’m a pretty private person, I think people still think I’m a female sometimes. Vanity Fair has done the most thorough interview to date. I’d say there. Or here now. Thanks Nicole.


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