Writing about Native American art of the 21st century is an exercise that inevitably leads us to enter a complex universe of ancient traditions and to examine the transformations, adaptations and adoptions that they have experienced throughout a continuous evolution, virtually uninterrupted. Contemporary Indigenous art is enriched and nourished by its rich past, without disregarding its place and its own voice on the stage of art, in its most global and current sense. It plays the double role of giving continuity to the forms inherited for generations and also of claiming a current presence, as an identity in resistance to the invisibility imposed from the outside, by colonialism that, although stifled by the centuries, has changed skin and endures to the present day.

It would be wrong to think that the Native art of the 21st century is a kind of “island” that can only be accessed by those who have dedicated themselves to the study of indigenous art and culture. On the contrary, Native Art goes through the sensibility of any art lover, specialist or not. Even, in the unlikely possibility that we were totally devoid of any historical and cultural reference point on Native communities, the qualities of the works, namely: their level of sophistication, intelligence and quality of execution, are evident to any type of public, including the most profane. Contemporary indigenous art is not an island, we said, and this is so, partly also because of the fact that artists are also not unlinked beings from an increasingly globalized world. These live by our side, and they are connected to our contemporary global experience, they have been trained in renowned art academies in many cases, they are lovers of jazz, Napalm Death or progressive rock. They share their creative experience through Facebook and Instagram, live their day-to-day lives in urban centres such as Chicago, Las Vegas or Santa Fe. Native artists are members of their traditional communities and, at the same time, active members of the contemporary society and “citizens of the world”, without this last fact separating them from the deep feeling of respect and love for their original history and culture, nor the prevailing desire to constantly and daily relearn their own traditions and languages. They are lovers of jazz, Napalm Death or progressive rock. They share their creative experience through Facebook and Instagram, live their day-to-day lives in urban centres such as Chicago, Las Vegas or Santa Fe.

Native artists are members of their traditional communities and, at the same time, active members of the contemporary society and “citizens of the world”, without this last fact separating them from the deep feeling of respect and love for their original history and culture, nor the prevailing desire to constantly and daily relearn their own traditions and languages. They are lovers of jazz, Napalm Death or progressive rock. They share their creative experience through Facebook and Instagram, live their day-to-day lives in urban centres such as Chicago, Las Vegas or Santa Fe.