Marcus Cadman, a Native American painter of Navajo and Kickapoo heritage, has been creating his own signature contemporary art with “splashes of popism and modernism” from the desert of New Mexico. He talks to Life & Soul Magazine about his work.
You’ve described “art” as your calling. Tell us more.
It was in college during that time that I decided that art was going to be my chosen profession. Things just came together and were pointing towards the arts as a career. American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell’s readings also had a huge influence on my direction to the arts.
How has your heritage influenced your art?
I try to paint my heritage amidst the modern world by combining symbols or metaphors from both worlds. I like combing elements from the tribal and modern world. That’s our world today [Natives]. And I like nice clean lines in my work, I like that modern/contemporary look.
And how does your environment impact your art?
I live in the desert in New Mexico with mountains, canyons, and mesas surrounding my town of Shiprock. The natural world has it’s own power and place in our world. I try to show that element of the natural world in some of my work.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe my art as contemporary with splashes of popism and modernism.
What are your favourite art mediums to work with?
I like collage a lot. Being able to adhere something on canvas or wood and them paint something on top of or around it is fun and challenging. Acrylic is my main medium.
Describe one of the most fulfilling projects that you have worked on.
Teaching high school students in a workshop was very eye opening and fulfilling. To actually see some of the students take what I was teaching and create something new and totally theirs was amazing.
Which artists do you admire? Which art resonates with you?
I remember watching PBS as a youngster and being in awe of the artists I’d seen on there. A big influence were the Pop artists. Dada art was also mind expanding. Architects, musicians, dancers, and other artists on PBS also influenced me. I think it was these artists that helped me to expand my work and to not just work in a traditional Native style.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a piece of furniture at the moment. I am going to strip it of it’s finish and then paint something that speaks of my style. I would love to be able to make my own furniture pieces and then paint them. So furniture making is definitely something I want to explore in the future.
The ancient art of relief carving in Egypt and what the Assyrians did blows my mind. I would like to start producing relief wood carving paintings and furniture, in my style. I also plan on making more sculptures.
Marcus Cadman artwork is available to buy online via Marcus Cadman
Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a journalist who writes about sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com