Native American artist
The abstract figurative contours and massive land forms of Tony Abeyta dance rhythmically and freely before the viewer’s eye. This contemporary Navajo artist’s visual language becomes musical in character as he draws it from the New Mexican landscapes that he has long called home. Nature and ritual stand hand in hand, thematically stringing together all his work and providing it both a primitive and spiritual quality. While his abstract contours often embody an ethereal, spirit-like character, the artist’s extensive use of deep contrasts solidifies their presence, as if making the invisible visible. They share the same boldness of American Indian masks whose strong lines and colors demand attention, but the airy and groundless atmosphere that Abeyta’s abstract forms inhabit suggest that their origins transcend materiality.
This same element of transcendence is found in Abeyta’s deserts, mountains, and forests in which the earth and sky seek communion, one with the other. As the earthen landscapes reach upwards in rhythmic motion, the sky with its clouds and rains descends downwards so the two may embrace each other as elements of earth and air living in harmony.
Abeyta has long built a high reputation for himself, having graduated from New York University and being awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Additionally, in 2012 he was a recipient of the New Mexico Governor’s Excellence in the Arts award and was soon accepted as a Native treasure by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. Currently, he is based in Santa Fe, NM and Berkley, CA. His work has been included in a number of prestigious museums and private collections throughout the U.S.