New Year's Eve, the night of the dive bar tour at The House art studios, painter Steven Yazzie sports a bike helmet decorated with a fluffy boa wrap and three naked dolls with out-scissored legs. The dolls are attached to thin rods, which come to a teepee-like point two and a half feet above his head. A glow stick dangles from the top. Lights from downtown skyscrapers and the moon light up his attire: a woolen, chocolate-colored security cop jacket over flannel and sweats, a dingy gear bag off one shoulder, some visible tats and a thick mane of dark, near-shoulder-length hair. Faint Cuban beats circulate from a small cassette player stashed on his person. He's sitting on a rickety mountain bike equipped with a chirping handlebar bell and playing cards that flutter in the spokes, and Yazzie's overall élan is absurd -- half Mardi Gras minstrel, half Hollywood... More >>>
Yazzie at the Heard Museum. A portion of his mural, Fear of a Red Planet, Relocation and Removal, 2000, in the background.