Billing his work as contemporary Navajo pottery, sculptor and graphic artist Gerald A. Pinto is expanding the boundaries of traditional sculpting by mixing media such as copper, turquoise and even battery-power into his work in innovative ways.
“I always tell people it blends the past with the present,” says Pinto. “Even though I call it contemporary, I showcase some of the more traditional designs, too.”
Pinto has been doing pottery for around 28 years, but committed to it full-time after leaving his job with Amtrak in 2003. He credits his family with being his biggest artistic influences and inspirations. “My mom is a weaver and my dad was a silversmith; they taught me a lot about Navajo designs.” His cousin, Dennis Charlie, who is known for his carved pots, encouraged him to pursue the art. “For a while, I was doing pieces similar to his, but over the years, I moved towards my own style.
“I developed it over the years … the copper and the turquoise is how people recognize my work.” Brown pots, that were pit-fired with copper and turquoise, are part of the Elemental Series.