Em­brace the Strug­gle: The Art­work of Chris Navarro

A new Phip­pen Mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores the sculp­tures of Chris Navarro and how the artist’s ex­pe­ri­ences have in­flu­enced his work.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Prescott, AZ

There are two things you need to be­come a good bull rider and a good artist: con­fi­dence and be­lief. This is the ide­ol­ogy of bronze sculp­tor and rider Chris Navarro, whose ex­hil­a­rat­ing, yet dan­ger­ous back­ground in rodeo has shaped the way he cre­ates his art­work. This is the cen­tral theme of his ex­hi­bi­tion at the Phip­pen Mu­seum, Em­brace the Strug­gle: The Art­work of Chris Navarro, which runs from De­cem­ber 1 through April 21, 2019.

Navarro, who be­came fas­ci­nated with horses at a young age, has been through the ringer in terms of wrecks and col­li­sions as a rodeo rider. One of his bronzes, Heck of a Wreck, is burst­ing with en­ergy and mo­men­tum as a cow­boy on horse­back clashes with a large bull, a sit­u­a­tion Navarro says he knows all too well, hav­ing been in a num­ber of ac­ci­dents him­self—the most re­cent hav­ing oc­curred just four years ago.

“It helps if you’ve ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­enced it, so it gives you au­then­tic­ity for one thing,” Navarro says of his horse and rider sculp­tures.

Wyoming Cow­boy, an­other horse and rider piece, is the of­fi­cial logo for the Uni­ver­sity of Wyoming and the sym­bol on the state li­cense plate, Navarro ex­plains.

The West­ern artist, who has homes in both Wyoming and Ari­zona, has a vast reper­toire of work span­ning a va­ri­ety of sub­ject mat­ter in­clud­ing wildlife, sail­boats, lo­co­mo­tives and

Na­tive Amer­i­can sub­jects, as well as mas­sive, larger-than-life sculp­tures. Essence of Rex, for ex­am­ple, is a T-rex mea­sur­ing 13 by 28 by 7 feet. “I just want to be ex­cited about the sub­ject mat­ter,” says Navarro.

His ex­hi­bi­tion, held in the mu­seum’s James Gallery, will show­case more than 30 of his smaller works as well as pho­to­graphs of his bronze mon­u­ments, al­low­ing visi­tors to ex­plore the artist’s un­bri­dled cre­ativ­ity. “I love mak­ing stuff with my hands...you get to make a liv­ing with your pas­sion,” he says. “It doesn’t get any bet­ter than that.”

Chris Navarro, Buf­falo and the Iron Horse, bronze, 9½ x 34 x 11½”

Chris Navarro, Heck of a Wreck, bronze, 29 x 26 x 16”

Chris Navarro, Taste Like Chicken, bronze, 16½ x 12 x 6½”

Chris Navarro, 20% Chance of Flur­ries, 1999, bronze, 15½ x 13½ x 6”

Chris Navarro, Wyoming Cow­boy, bronze, 30 x 18 x 9”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.