Greg Ballenger

Greg Ballenger

  • Artist’s Statement

    Art history teaches us to admire the beauty of European craftsmanship, but it fails to remind us of the vitality of a simple hearth or a solid foundation. The act of building is one of the most authentic expressions of human survival and creativity, because without architecture, we are as vulnerable as a fawn in an open field. We need architecture and design as much as we need food and water.

    As a Navajo artist, painting and architecture are art forms that shape my view of the world. One offers physical safety and comfort. The other offers mental safety and comfort. On the Navajo reservation, it is more important to know how to build a home than it is to know how to mix accurate skintones. Carving out an existence in a harsh desert environment reminds you of how crucial life’s basic necessities are.

    With the marriage of these two art forms, I admire the hand-made structures dotting the Navajo landscape. I see them as wabi-sabi examples of indigenous resilience and creativity. An ad-hoc sheep corral is more than logs stacked into a fence; it is an expression of Navajo survival in the face of unprecedented environmental, economic, and cultural change.

    This show, The Hazy World (Łid Bichahałeeł), is inspired by my people’s creation story and cultural teachings about the necessity of harmony. It is dedicated to the importance of architecture beyond any appreciation for beautiful façades, interpretations of blueprints, or property values. Here, in The Hazy World, the people build structures out of whatever scrap wood they can find. Water has become more sacred than Christ. Clouds of smog hover like zeppelins across the blue sky and vast clay horizon. Energy companies continue to pollute as they proudly display the spoils of their war. In the face of unprecedented environmental, economic, and cultural change, the people continue on as resilient and creative as their ancestors.

    ...

    The revival of a healthy planet lies in the relationship between indigenous communities and those that hold privilege and power over political, economic, and energy systems. Indigenous people make up less than 5% of the global population and yet they protect 80% of the worlds biodiversity. Indigenous Knowledge plays a vital role in the necessary preservation of entire ecosystems. There are indigenous activists and organizations that have been working, are working, and will continue working to ensure a future for their communities on the lands that have cared for them and their ancestors. A portion of all sales in this show will go to supporting the work of these indigenous organizations. A painting may not save the future, but indigenous activism will.

    For more information, please email info@ellsworthgallery.com

  • Biography

    Greg Ballenger (b. 1996) explores history, architecture, and his Diné identity through painting, sculpture, video, and performance. Influenced by his upbringing in a reservation border-town, Greg's work weaves threads of indigenous humor and ingenuity. He often explores historical and contemporary challenges that indigenous communities face and the creative ways they overcome such challenges. Greg has studied and exhibited across the United States and internationally. In 2019, he received his BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and has been recognized as a SITE Scholar (2018-2019). He is currently based out of Gallup, NM.

    For more information, please email info@ellsworthgallery.com

  • Exhibitions

    ● Rezitecture | O P O Gallery | Gallup, NM I 2019
    ● Digital Natives | BOZAR | Brussels, Belgium I 2019
    ● The Young Americans | Rainmaker Gallery | Bristol, UK I 2019
    ● Senior Exhibition | IAIA | Santa Fe, NM I 2019
    ● Northern Navajo Nation Fair Art Competition | Window Rock, AZ I 2019
    ● Driving While Drawing | Axle Contemporary | Santa Fe, NM I 2019

    For more information, please email info@ellsworthgallery.com

Showing 1–12 of 19 artworks

Greg Ballenger

...a'doo n'diitsa'goo
20 x 10 ″ Acrylic on Canvas $1,400

Greg Ballenger

N'jaa t'oongiis...
20 x 10 ″ Acrylic on Canvas $1,400

Greg Ballenger

Ouroboros
24 x 24 ″ Acrylic on Canvas $2,250

Greg Ballenger

Pipe Landscape
12 in x 24 in Acrylic on Canvas Sold

Greg Ballenger

276 PAL (Sketch)
15 in x 30 in Acrylic on Canvas $2,200

Greg Ballenger

Ionic Ain’t Iconic
24 in x 48 in Acrylic on Canvas $3,400

Greg Ballenger

Coal for Cheii
16 in x 12 in Acrylic on Canvas $1,300

Greg Ballenger

Blowin’ Smoke
24 in x 48 in Acrylic on Canvas $3,400

Greg Ballenger

Lungs for Light
60 in x 120 in Acrylic on Canvas $10,000

Greg Ballenger

Yeii Structure I
12 in x 16 in Acrylic on Canvas $1,300

Greg Ballenger

Yeii Structure II
12 in x 16 in Acrylic on Canvas $1,300

Greg Ballenger

Monkey Bar Structure
12 in x 24 in Acrylic on Canvas Sold