Stan Natchez

I paint to understand the world that surrounds me.” – Stan Natchez

 

A Shoshoni/Paiute, Stan Natchez was born in Los Angeles, California. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Colorado and his MFA at Arizona State University. In addition to being a nationally known artist, Natchez has distinguished himself as a graduate student, teacher, dancer, editorial advisor and legal advocate for the native American community. As a traditional dancer who performed in European capitals as well as throughout the United States, Natchez developed a fine eye for both color and composition from the beadwork he created for his regalia. He also credits dance as a medium for building a stronger sense of cultural self-esteem.

 

Stan Natchez is known for his innovative and creative paintings. Inspired by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, T.C. Cannon and other pop artists, his paintings exude the power of color and familiar objects. His canvases often begin with artifacts of American culture that either directly or indirectly reflect Indians. He then includes figures such as Native Americans, mission priests or cowboys. Intricate "stars and stripes" beadwork add texture to bold works that emanate beauty and joy. Dollar bills are layered on the canvas as a modern day buffalo hide.

 

"I feel fortunate for having been raised in the city because of the perspective it gave me on modern life. However, without an awareness of our traditional heritage, we as Native Americans have no identity. By taking the best of both worlds, the modern and the traditional, we are better able to find balance in our lives," says Natchez.

 

Natchez feels equally strongly about communicating contemporary Native American philosophy that has been purged of any romantic or stereotypical idealism. Instead, the viewer is exposed to traditional teaching and contemporary cultural doctrines. As Natchez says, "I paint the life I live and so every painting I do is, in some way, a self-portrait. My art is about you and the way I respond. That is my experience...my experience is my art...and art is my life."

Natchez has exhibited nationally at The Southwest Museum, The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and The National Museum of the American Indian, as well as institutions in Denmark, England, and Germany. He has served as the Former Humanities Department Chairman at Arizona's Orme School, as well as the Editorial Advisor and Education Coordinator for the Native Peoples Magazine.