A phenomenon in the Indian art world, Sheldon Harvey has won Best of Show at Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as having a painting chosen for the official poster, in the same year. The striking images he paints and sculpts are his artistic visions of the supernatural and sacred beings from Navajo creation and emergence stories that he heard as a child. He keeps his images non-specific, in order to maintain the mystery inherent in Navajo sacred lore.
This complex figure has elements of the sky, water, and the sun, culminating in the growth of corn. On the face, the left side is blue, the color of sky and water; the right side is sun-yellow, and there is a faint cornstalk visible. A triangular projection below this is striped in vertical lines, representing rain. On the torso, painted a sunny gold, an abstract symbol of the sun is painted.
Below, there is a rectangular abstraction of an ear of corn, the culmination of enough rain and sunlight. This is a symbol of good luck, good health, happiness and prosperity. In each hand, the figure holds a sprig of natural parrot feathers, representing prayers for a balance of sun and rain, resulting in a bountiful harvest, that float up to the heavens.
There are intricate details all through this figure. For example, the kilt below the ear of corn is striped in yellow and coral against a blue background: blue for the sky and water, yellow for the sun, and coral for the red earth of the land. Every element of this complex construction is painted in a different pattern in a myriad of colors. Somehow, through the artist’s eye, they all combine into a gently vivid harmony.
A major piece by this major artist, the figure is securely attached on a metal rod, fixed to a metal base. No worries that Kitty will knock it over!