DAN NAMINGHA (b. 1950)
Dan Namingha studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico and later went on to continue his studies in Chicago, Illinois. During Namingha's time at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, he was influenced by the artwork of Jackson Pollack, Adolph Gottlieb, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Norman Rockwell.
Namingha has been a painter and a sculptor for the last 40 years. Namingha paints and sculpts images of his homeland, and the Hopi people. His complex heritage serves as a key inspiration for Namingha. Painting from before dawn to long after sunset, Namingha constantly challenges himself to try new styles, representation, abstraction, and minimalism. His subject matter has always been intimately linked to spiritual beliefs of the Hopi culture. He incorporates elements of Pueblo symbolism and beliefs about time and space in a Contemporary minimalist manner.
Color and symbolism are important in Hopi tradition and culture. Circles, Squares, Dark Semi Circles, and Bold Lines represent the sun, moon, horizon, corn, and nighttime. The four colors of corn are associated with the four cardinal directions, the seasons, and the cycles of life. Namingha also works in mixed media, as seen in some of his work where he combines textured and colored paper and paint. The color "black" symbolizes "above", the upper world, and all colors represent "below", the lower world.