Namingha, Les – “Our Past, The Present, My Future” Contemporary Jar

9"w x 11.5"h

$ 8,800.00

It is exciting when we get in a large piece by Les Namigha that is this complicated in style and design.  This piece is intricately painted from rim to base.  The jar, “Our Past, The Present, My Future’, incorporates not just Hopi-Tewa designs from the past to present, but some “graffiti” and modernist ideas of imagery that are the “future” for Les.  As well, there are a variety of styles in Les’s work that range from the past (the pointillism) to the present (layer), the future (linear designs signifying migrations, etc). The same with coloration.  I am struck by how much thought goes into a piece like this on so many levels.  At first glance, it feels so modernist and yet it has a story to tell about Les Namingha as an artist and his culture.  In terms of imagery, there are layers of Hopi-Tewa birds across the surface.  A variety of colors and each with different designs.  I can easily see three to four layers of birds!  Add to that the graffiti writing and patterns of colors that speak to Les and his expansion of the art over the past several decades.  Look near the bottom and there is a spiderweb design (the Hopi origination story of pottery), along with checkerboard patterns and multi-color cloud and bird wing patterns.  It is a bit breathtaking, but also inspiring.  There is a lot happening on the jar and yet it has a creative flow across the surface so that as it is turned, it is almost like having several pieces in one.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Les Namingha  2020”.  Les says of his pieces which have layering:

“The concept of layering is inherent in our mortal journey. As time moves forward, our memories become layered. Some memories remain vibrant, others faint or hazy. Yet others, obscure or even hidden. Likewise, our experiences, words, works, emotions, prayers, and songs build up in layers creating our existence. In turn, our social interactions become exercises in layering. We see this in evidence with street art or graffiti writing where layers of thought and a desire to express a “proof of existence” create tapestries of color and marks. Blending, covering, harmonizing, dissonance, disappearing. This concept of layering is the idea behind Urban Polychrome and other works in the Urban Series.”  Les Namingha