Bob Haozous

1943 / Apache / Navajo

Abbott: In an interview with Clare Ruth Krantz, you said, "One of my restrictive categories for art is that if I don't see a self-portrait, then it's not art." If you are to look at your work, what self-portrait emerges?

Bob Haozous:
Well, I still believe that's true. In Western art, self-portrait
means a portrait of yourself. If I want to do that, I get a camera. When you are intimate with your materials and honest with what your statement is, it's a form of self-portraiture. But I think that only for myself. Other people have their own interpretation of what art is, but for myself I try to portray who I am today.

Excerpt from an interview Larry Abbott – Bob Haozous

I’m a cultural person first – I’m Apache and American. I neither want to be defined or restricted by my tribal affiliation, nor by such a European concept as art history.“

Photo copy:
Original Mirco Krizanovc for FAZ, Frankfurt

Haozous as Artist in Residence in Frankfurt/Germany 1992

Bob Haozous

With a background in both worlds -- i.e., an Indian heritage and European training Haozous avoids the obvious solution of working in one mode with the superficial trappings of the other. Instead he has chosen a sterner path. He puts the two influences on a collision course within his artistic concept, then slices through them with the same ferocious skill with which he wields a cutting torch. He reshapes and juxtaposes the fragments until a third reality emerges.

Susan Deats, “Facing the Contradictions 1987

Bob Haozous is a man with a mission, or two. Some thirty years ago he set out to be a damn good sculpture. He has since achieved this, successfully wedding Native and especially Apache imagery with powerful form and a sharp unequivocal wit aimed at contemporary American life., at “the white man in all of us. Between them, he and his father – the deeply respected Allan Houser – have defined the range of Native American sculpture.

Lucy Lippard in “ Bob Haozous - Indigenous Dialogue 2006, exhibition catalogue for the Bob Haozous retrospective at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM curated by Josph Sanchez