Navajo traditions in the works of David K. John

Abstract:
This research examines the role of traditions in the works of contemporary Navajo artist David K. John and demonstrates that art is used as a modern instrument of storytelling, to pass to the next generations, traditions of Navajo culture. John, a commercially successful artist especially known in the Southwest Native art circles, is continuing a tradition of representation of the Holy People that goes back to sandpainting and weaving. Although not 'original' in terms of subject matters, his works differ from all his predecessors because of the human touch present and clearly visible in them. In John's works, the superhuman becomes human and this is what makes his canvases so unique. This research takes into consideration some of his major works and analyzes them in terms of subjects portrayed and modality of the representation in an attempt to understand the cultural meanings they bear and John's art rationale.

Author: 

Marinella Lentis

Chair: 

Nancy Parezo

Publication: 

thesis

Year: 

2006

Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 L55n

Proquest: 

ATT 1434300

UA Library: 

E9791 2006
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences