“New Mexico Pride”

Nate Nez


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Young Navajo artist, proud veteran, and family man, Nate started out as a street artist and has gone on from there.

With no knowledge of art or its history, until he attended the University of New Mexico, he participated in a joint public/private mural project for Albuquerque’s Healthcare for the Homeless building.

That inspired him to continue doing art.

This large painting, displays his pride in his New Mexico home, in a brilliant, primary color.

A finely detailed portrait of a roadrunner, the State Bird, is superimposed on a facsimile of the State flag, with its famed Zia symbol.

Adapted from a prehistoric Zia Pueblo symbol, the iconic design represents the four geographic directions, where all blessings are meant to spread.

The actual flag is, indeed, this blazing sun-yellow, and the Zia symbol flames against it, in bright red.

However, the artist has portrayed the red Zia in less than solid brushstrokes, so that the center resembles the sun, shimmering in the desert heat.

It also relates to the feathery strokes on the roadrunner’s tail and crest.

A bold and broad vertical stripe of blue anchors one side adroitly painted to resemble water – the counterpoint to the sun, and the highest good luck in the high desert.

It also relates to the upright tail of the bird.

A narrower, horizontal band cuts across the elements in the painting, except for the roadrunner.

This also is expertly painted with a sequence of greens, segueing into dark reds.

It symbolizes the land; green with watered, and red, like the majestic cliffs and rock formations of the Navajo Land.

It doesn’t require interpretation to enjoy this brilliant painting – the colors are happy and evoke the same feeling in the spectator.

Incandescent color, deceptively simple but expert painting technique, and that wonderful roadrunner, make this painting one to light up your wall, and bring the southwestern sun to your every day.

With the bright, happy colors, and big bird, this would be a wonderful introduction to art, in a child’s room.

The artist has a message for the new owner, on the back: “Many Blessing (sic) and Thank You”

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