Original Painting titled “Holy Woman, Holy Man, Holy Girl, Holy Boy” [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Myron Denetclaw, Diné Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: acrylic gouache
  • Size:
    17-⅛” x 26” image;
    28-½” x 37-½” framed
  • Item # 26244
  • SOLD

“Holy Woman, Holy Man, Holy Girl, Holy Boy '' is an original Navajo painting by Myron Denetclaw, an emerging Diné artist.  According to Denetclaw, “the painting represents the sandpainting of the male Shootingway ceremony—na’at’oee’ baka’jih’. The ceremony lasts several days. However, this ceremony is specifically prescribed to males who fell ill from contact with lightning, arrows, or snakes. This painting depicts the deities: Holy Man, Holy Woman, Holy Boy, and Holy Girl. The four wear female masks representing the sun-house streaks. The male figures’ bodies are painted black and white, representing storm clouds with lightning. They wear decorative kilts with tassels and pouches. Below their feet, the male deities stand on flash lightning. The female bodies are painted with a decorative traditional Navajo rug dress, adorned with many colorful plates representing flint armor.  Below their feet, they stand on rainbows which end with storm clouds. The black bar represents the storm cloud with white dots indicating rain droplets and moisture. The figures carry in both hands bows and prayer plumes, yet, only the males would carry arrows.”

Denetclaw’s work with this piece is excellent.  Each figure and every design element received thoughtful and careful treatment.  Denetclaw’s deep knowledge of and respect for his subjects is apparent in the details.  What’s most incredible, though, is the way he presents these details.  They are accurately representational, which is important with ceremonial subject matter, but they are also undeniably beautiful regardless of the level of knowledge one might possess regarding Diné spiritual practice.  Denetclaw used carefully composed patterns of interlocking shapes to form his deities.  These patterns feel natural and rhythmic despite their intricacy, which speaks to Denetclaw’s impressive technical abilities and keen eye for composition.  His color choices succeed on a similar level—they’re strong, attractive, and perfectly balanced, but they never stray too far from the palette of the early Diné traditionalists.  “Holy Woman, Holy Man, Holy Girl, Holy Boy” is an exceptional example of Myron Denetclaw’s work.

The painting is signed “Denetclaw” in lower right.  It is framed beautifully, under a wide tan mat with a black interior band, within a black frame.

Myron Denetclaw (1999- ) is a Diné painter who was born in Shiprock, New Mexico.  He resides in Shiprock with his family. His maternal clan is Táchiiníí and his paternal clan is Hooghanłání.  Denetclaw paints in the style of traditional Diné painters Harrison Begay and Beatien Yazz.   He also cites the naturalism of Bob Ross as an influence. Denetclaw has received awards and accolades for his paintings, including Best of Show awards from a variety of respectable institutions.  Denetclaw is currently studying studio arts at Diné College in Shiprock.

Condition: original condition

Provenance: this Original Painting titled "Holy Woman, Holy Man, Holy Girl, Holy Boy" is from the artist

Recommended Reading: NAVAJO PAINTING by Katherin Chase

Relative Links: Native American PaintingDiné of the Navajo NationDorothy DunnHarrison BegayBeatien YazzSan IldefonsoMyron Denetclaw, Diné Painter

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Myron Denetclaw (2000 - ) painting in front of Adobe Gallery during the Canyon Road Paint Out.