“Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidine’é. Shí éí Zander Dale yinishyé. Táchii’nii nishłį́, Tábąąhá bashishchiin, Tódích’íi’nii dashicheii, Hashk’ąą hadzohí dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné nishłį́. Tsé Bit’a’í déé’ naashá.”
Translation: “Hello, my people and my friends. I am called Zander Dale. I am Red Running Into the Water, born for Water’s Edge. My maternal grandfather is Bitter Water clan. My paternal grandfather is Yucca Fruit Strung-Out-In a Line Clan. In this way I am a Navajo male. Rock with Wings (Shiprock, NM) is where I am from.”
Zander graduated from Shiprock High School in 2016 and is now a student at Valley City State University. He is working to earn a B.S. in Art and become a graphic designer. He studied in various mediums including drawing, painting, serigraph, and digital art.
The contemporary graphic styles and illustration inspire Zander’s artwork. His audience for his artwork is for every walk of life and for his Navajo Community. He intends to influence the younger generation in hope of strengthening their love for their culture. To reach the youth he uses icons from popular culture and intertwines it with Native American Culture. He is inspired by artist who tie their life experiences in their art. Artists like Dewayne Dale Jr., Demetria Dale, Steven Paul Judd, Jean Michael Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Banksy, and Andy Warhol.
Throughout the history of artistic development, there have been numerous works of art expanding from the first cave paintings to contemporary art. Along the way there were art movements that summarized change in art technique and methods. In particular, the Pop Art movement, which started in New York during the mid 1950’s and ended in the late 1970’s. Artists like: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist who made art from popular imagery. Popular imagery from Campbells Soup cans, candy wrappers, comic books, and name brand companies. Alternatively, “American Indian” art is viewed as being primitive and only created in a single style. American Indian art as a whole can be incarnated as: horses, leatherworks, wounded warriors, stoic men, old chiefs, beautiful long-haired women, dream catchers, and even pottery. The preset idea makes them all have an American Southwest aesthetic. Contemporary Native American Artists have tested the lively idea that all Native American art is Southwest art by portraying modern Native American culture through a Pop Art lens. One of Pop Art’s key ideas was to blur the boundaries of “high” art and “low” art culture. This concept tested that there is no scale of high and low culture arts. Accordingly, the goal of this research is to study and create artworks that revolve around the ideas of Navajo Pop Art. Navajo Pop Art is an art movement created by the Navajo people to engage viewers about Navajo contemporary life, struggles, popular culture, and language through many mediums of art. The research project will analyze and produce artworks of how Navajo culture has grown with American culture and will make an effort to obscure any boundaries between mainstream Indian Art and Original Native American Art.
"We Have a Hulk"