Steven Yazzie has been creating and exhibiting work since the mid 1990's. While his main body of his work is painting, he has also found equal success with sculpture, video, installation and mixed media work. Born in 1970, he is currently living and working in Phoenix, Arizona.
A major turning point in Yazzie’s career occurred in 1999, when he received a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the National Endowment for the Arts, to create a mural at the Heard Museum. At 7 ½-foot-tall by 160-foot-wide, “Fear of a Red Planet”, this large-scale narrative depicts the forced relocation and removal of American Indian tribes in the Southwest.
In 2003, Yazzie was commissioned to paint SHADE Magazine’s Art award, “Momentum”, which honored past Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. "Momentum" currently sits in the Governor's office at the state capital. Yazzie also participated in the Phoenix “Smithsonian Institution Culture Fest.” In 2004, he painted “Orchestrating a Blooming Desert”, which served as the Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau campaign image. In the summer of 2006, Yazzie participated in a residency at “Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture”, in Skowhegan Maine.
A recent project explored travel, velocity and landscape through the experience of driving and drawing while racing downhill in a small wooden car. This division between subject matter, physical artistic process, and a constant state of accelerating distractions seems an apt summation of contemporary life; this body of work was highlighted in a solo exhibition at the Heard Museum, called, “Draw me a Picture” in 2007.
Yazzie's new work explores the expressions of the land and evolving ideas around expansion and development into the 21st century. “My new work is a continuation into the intersections between the urban, man-made and the natural experience. It explores the beauty and chaos of the natural world colliding with man’s ideals”.
Yazzie has been a part of numerous exhibitions, and is in many private and public collections throughout the country. He is currently exhibiting in Remix: New Modernities in a Post Indian World, organized by the Heard Museum, on tour at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian, New York, and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto,
Canada through 2009.
Yazzie is working with YRGproject is a photography based collaboration project designed to utilize a variety of collaborative, engaging, and relational methods as point of exploration in an improvised and sometimes staged environments.