Navajo painter Nani Chacon is being featured in a new exhibit opening at the Navajo Nation Museum. Presented in conjunction with the zine Ziindi, Ch’ikééh Baa Hózhǫ opens February 15 and showcases the work of 15 contemporary female Native artists. This groundbreaking exhibition is particularly exciting for Nani because she has created the first mural installation in the history of the museum. Titled Against The Storm She Gathers Her Thoughts the painting depicts a young woman in a contemplative state interwoven with traditional Native American motifs. Nani was selected not only for her relevant subject matter, but also for her demonstrated skill in large scale painting.
Nani’s career began differently from most artists of previous generations. At the age of 16, she began her work as a graffiti artist. She notes that her experience working with composition and color on the streets gave her an advantage when she started her art school training. Her skills transferred well into oil paintings both large and small.
Although Nani’s work has been popular in underground circles for years, it is nice to see her unique vision finally being appreciated on a larger platform. Michelle Ponce and Damian Jim selected Nani’s work for Issue 1.2 of Ziindi, the independent modern indigenous art zine. Ponce notes, “She is a leader in the work that she does, and her message is very inspiring to us.” Nani describes her own work as indicating the constant presence of the female form throughout subcultures and the mainstream.
While the Navajo Nation Museum will be featuring paintings on a very large scale, we are also excited to have smaller works available for sale here at Four Winds. Limited edition Giclée prints, made with high quality digital ink, are a great way for a new collector to make their start into the art world!
Using vibrant colors, Nani converts advertising tropes and retro pin-up images into a whole new context. Her subjects boldly confront the viewer’s gaze and integrate the traditional Native imagery and modern influences that Nani describes as extremely important to her work.
We look forward to seeing what comes next for Nani in her promising artistic career!