SANTA FE, N.M. — In his search for his own identity, Ehren Kee Natay has found answers both in hip-hop and Native American cultures.
They, in turn, find expression in his art, some of which reflects his concerns about a lost connection to the land, to the corn and water that have sustained Native cultures in the Southwest for centuries.
“URBN NDN” (Urban Indian), an acrylic painting consisting of two panels, shows a three-eyed humanoid spray-painting clouds into existence; they shed tears as the painter holds a lollipop, symbolic of how our consumption of corn has evolved to corn syrup in sweets, Natay said.
Raised and currently residing in Santa Fe, son of a Kewa/Diné father and a German/Irish mother, Natay notes that he’s an urban Indian himself. He also is the current Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research, a three-month period of study and work that ends for him Dec. 1.