Da, Tony – “Blue Horse & Archer” Original Casein Painting (1957)
15" x 20" Painting 23" x 27.5" framed $8000 on Hold
Tony Da was a grandson of Maria Martinez and the son of Popovi Da. While he is famous as a potter, his true love was always painting. He began painting when he was in high school and then his work became more refined when he left the Navy after acquiring the skills of a draftsman. This painting is one of his from 1957, which would have made him 17 years old. He made a series of paintings that year and they are very different from his later work and more reminiscent of other well-known painters of the time, as well as the work of his father. This painting has an archer on a blue horse turned backward firing an arrow into a skin target. There are mesas in the background and blue birds in the sky. The style certainly makes one think of Quincy Tahoma with the composition and color. I think it interesting to think about him as a young artist and what was influential that he saw. The use of perspective and angles was very different from the classic “two-dimensional” style of San Ildefonso’s paintings. This piece was painted with casein, which is an opaque watercolor. Tony would use casein throughout his career as he created a mastery of combining colors and layering. Interestingly, I had considered this painting to be included in the “Art and Life of Tony Da” but selected another larger painting from the same year. The piece is signed in the lower right “Anthony Da”, ’57. It is in very good condition and archivally framed.