"Slowly Breaking Through the Daylight"

Sale price$1,000.00

Craig George

"Slowly Breaking Through the Daylight"

Oil on BFK Paper

11 3/4" x 19 3/8"


Craig George, of Diné heritage, produces artwork that offers a visual juxtaposition of two contrasting cultural experiences: the urban atmosphere of South Central Los Angeles, where he was brought up, and his current residence amidst the tranquil landscape of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Having initially honed his skills as an autodidactic artist, his later studies at the Institute of the American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe broadened his understanding and respect for the diverse cultures of different tribes. George's remarkable paintings have found homes in esteemed establishments, both private and public, including the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, and the University of Oklahoma.

George reminisces, "I first started with pencil and ink at nine years old. I just started drawing, spray painting. The first time I picked up a brush was around 1995, when I was in art school. When I got that first money when I started drawing for people [in high school] I thought, ‘This can work.’ When I was practicing [when I was younger], I used walls as my paper, maybe in alleys or someone’s garage.” I paint from morning until the sun goes down. That’s my day. I usually have eight pieces up [at a time] and just work on them. That’s my heart, that’s my love. That’s what keeps me going and grounded.”

George's body of work displays a wide stylistic range, with elements of graffiti and mixed media punctuating saturated landscapes. Beyond the awe-inspiring vistas and occasional abstract or collage pieces, his artwork often features scenes grounded in his Los Angeles upbringing, a city renowned for its significant off-reservation Native American populace. The elements of tags, wall signs, and graffiti in his work are authentic representations of the urban landscape he once called home.

George elaborates, "the rich tradition of graffiti art is incorporated into my pieces,” Craig says, “while living on the rez gives me a wealth of material right in my backyard: night skies, ceremonies, music and landscape. I don’t take my gift for granted and put my heart and soul into each piece. As an artist I visualize and record things that are important to me and my culture. It’s my responsibility to carry on our traditions.”

Reflecting on his life on the reservation, he shares, "living on the reservation is beautiful: Open range, fresh air, gorgeous sunsets, animals are free to roam, very peaceful, calm silence. I don’t hear any police sirens, helicopters overhead, I don’t have to look over my shoulder, little things like that. Because I live on the reservation I got to learn more about my culture and ceremonies, how to be at peace with Mother Nature. So you’ll see all those things in my artwork.