David grew up hearing the stories and teachings of his homeland. In his art, John expresses his own interpretations of his childhood learning with the utmost care and respect. Following his graduation, John returned to his home in Keams Canyon, and what he had learned at his grandfather’s knee came flooding back to his mind. Ever the teacher of Navajo spiritual beliefs, David’s paintings incorporate and reflect the importance of his grandfather’s teachings and his own artistic and spiritual growth. And although he imparts spiritual truths through Navajo symbolism, John uses these symbols to inspire his own expression.
John’s characteristic messenger is the Yei Be Chei, an ethereal messenger to the Dine. Since exact replication of the sacred icon is taboo, he modifies the image to the satisfaction of his tribe’s spiritual leaders. According to collectors, the alteration does not affect the impact of the painting’s message. John believes passing on strong teachings is critical to a better future. He instructs his son and daughter in the teachings he was given. At the same time, he encourages them with 21st century technologies. The children are already perpetuating tradition by selling their own artwork. It all began with his Navajo medicine man great grandfather from whom David K. John learned respect for Nature and the ways of his people.
The Latest from Our Blog
Those who frequent the New Mexico area, or are knowledgeable about the pueblos of New Mexico, are very familiar with the 19 active pueblos in the State. From Zuni to the far west all the way up to Taos in the northern mountains, these pueblos have been around for many years. In fact, Zuni and … Read MoreRead More
Beginning in the middle of March, The Dancing Rabbit Gallery is presenting an online exhibition of the art of David K. John. He is an internationally recognized, very talented Navajo painter. Over the past 30 years, David’s style has evolved to where his work is immediately recognized by a large group of international art collectors. … Read MoreRead More
The Pojoaque Pueblo may be best known today for the Poeh Cultural Center, a magnificent well-curated museum and education center owned and operated by the pueblo. Located about 15 miles north of Santa Fe, the Poeh (in normal years) attracts a broad spectrum of visitors who are able to learn more about the daily lives … Read MoreRead More
by Maxine Toya, Jemez
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