Ryan Singer's Mutton Stew, right, references the pop art of Andy Warhol (Warhol did his first Cambell Soup art in 1962). Singer's Navajo soup image on an apron, purchased from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, hangs in our kitchen cupboard.
Native American continues the trend of blending American omnipresent cultural images in the context of Indian traditional art. Andy Warhol took pop art forms and remixed them and created iconic art. Indian art remixes speak of cultural remixing, too, but in a way that speaks to our future where we may be headed where image trumps text and meaning is only found in the referencing.
Cochiti artist Diego Rivera spoke about his work at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture two years ago and I've written about his work before.
Culturally, the Indians understand this text-free image referencing because, unlike artists like Warhol who came from a textually literate context, their ideas were shared orally and graphically. I've gone into this idea more deeply elsewhere.
Santa Clara Pueblo artist Jason Garcia, who, as the Heard Museum writes, "paints popular cultural themes derived both from mainstream art and from Native art...At times, he speaks to the cultural conflicts of traditional societal events functioning within a larger contemporary world. At other times, his work references culture clash." Garcia's Spiderman pot is pictured at left.
The Pop Art exhibit opened in April at The Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ and will feature both Romero and Garcia. It has been a long time since I've visited Phoenix and this museum. Perhaps this is the year I get there. This exhibit might be the beckoning moment.