James Luna is a Luiseno Indian who resides on the La Jolla Indian Reservation. He holds a BFA from the University of California, Irvine and an MS in Counseling from San Diego State University. Luna has stated that "art work in the media of performance and installation offers an opportunity like no other for Native people to express themselves without compromise in the Indian traditional art forms of ceremony, dance, oral traditions and contemporary thought.” His installations have been described as transforming gallery spaces into battlefields, where the audience is confronted with the nature of cultural identity, tensions generated by cultural isolation and dangers of cultural misinterpretation — all from a Native perspective. He addresses the mythology of what it means to be “Indian” in contemporary American society and exposes the hypocrisy of the dominant society, which trivializes Indian people as romantic stereotypes. Luna has exhibited across the US, Canada, Japan and the UK.
Spirits of Virtue and Evil Await My Ascension, 1998
Courtesy the Artist
Main Exhibition Site