Tribe: San Ildefonso Pueblo / Tewa
Based In: Newcastle, WA
About the Art
Extra Terrestrial is based on how human beings rationalize unexplained phenomena amongst the cosmos. The entity in the bottom-center is a kachina, and represents spiritual presence. This piece illustrates the differences in what some may determine as extra-terrestrial, and how Native cultures view this presence as part of a larger plan, in both spiritual and physical senses—the view that everything has a purpose and role in this giant living organism we call the cosmos.
About the Artist
I was born in 1973 to Tony and Lou Da in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My father is a Native American from the San Ildefonso Pueblo in northern New Mexico. I grew up living in the four corners of the Southwest. Much of my time was spent traveling up and down the Continental Divide of southwestern Colorado to San Ildefonso Pueblo and Santa Fe. Staying close to my native roots, I learned to live my life by merging the two worlds of a contemporary lifestyle with the Native way of life.
When I was young, I learned to have a creative imagination which in turn gave me an appreciation for nature and all its mysteries. The complex patterns and colors of the world influence my artwork. I am driven to best replicate that perfection we see in the natural world. The driving influence of my life is to create interpretations of what I see as a way of celebrating the greatness and beauty all around us.
Through my artwork, I contemplate the constant struggle between the ever expanding modern world and the natural world. I see art as a link between past and present. As a child I watched my great grandmother, Maria Martinez, bring the images of our culture to the world through pottery. I sat in my father’s studio watching the way he translated those images into his own vision. Through the process of creation, I am joining my ancestors and honoring my culture, and I am also attempting to send a message of optimism to those generations yet to come.