Published on February 23rd, 2013 | by Adrian0
Slickest in the Southwest – Jetsonorama
Who are you?
jetsonorama, sans drama.
Where are you based?
for the past 25 years i’ve lived and worked as a physician on the navajo nation. shout out to western agency!
What is your background as an artist?
it’s limited really. when i first came to the rez i set up a black and white darkroom and started photographing people from the community in a documentary style. my next door neighbor at the time was a dentist who taught me darkroom technique. i’d done a small amount of darkroom work in junior high and high school.
after spending 3 months in brazil in 2009 i decided to start doing a public art, wheat pasting project on the reservation using enlarged images from the collection of negatives i’ve been building since 1987.
How would you explain your creations in 4 words?
nothing lasts forever. jazz.
Where does your vision come from & what do you hope to accomplish?
my initial inspiration for wheat pasting black and white photographs came from the french street artist, j.r. i got turned onto his work while in brazil in 2009.
i chose to wheat paste imagery that reflects some of the more positive moments i’ve been allowed to photograph during my time here. i really want to remind the youth of the beauty and values of the elders. as an outsider, perhaps it not my role to do this. however, as a physician who has been working in the same small clinic for 25 years, i have a sense of the social ills plaguing the community and the power of art to promote a healthy state of mind and to remind people of the beauty within the culture. for example, i love it when i hear that someone grandma laughs every time she sees a wheat pasted image of sheep and goats.
i started pasting the images on roadside stands along highway 89 north and heard from the vendors that they were getting more people stopping at their stands if the stands had photos on them. i also learned that the arizona department of transportation plans to do away with the roadside stands because they present a traffic hazard. so for the few families who rely on vending along the roadside, the art project i’m doing is an effort to help them maintain the modest income they earn from this way of life.
last summer i started a project called “the painted desert project.” this project invites street artists from different parts of the u.s. and various countries around the world to paint murals on the navajo nation. its objective is to bring a different type of art and energy to the rez and again, to benefit the roadside vendors. the art serves as a vehicle to foster understanding between tourists passing through and the local population by hopefully stimulating motorist to stop, check out the art and interact with people on whose buildings the art exists. this project attempts to make the world a little smaller by fostering dialog.
When you were young, did you ever imagine your work would inspire & motivate so many people?
Could you please give our viewers some information about where they can see/hear/purchase your work?
you can see more images from the various projects i’m engaged in at these sites online:
Thanks for your interest and for the opportunity to talk about my work.