KeywordsAmerican Indian Studies
Committee ChairParezo, Nancy J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis 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.
Degree ProgramAmerican Indian Studies