By Brian Daffron
Feodorov is not bound by any one medium or sense of convention. Instead, he is just as likely to incorporate video or music as part of an artistic installation as he would be to use a two-dimensional canvas. For Feodorov, an installation “isn’t just an object,” he said. “It’s the space as well. Video is a great way of using the exhibition space to engage the viewer.”
It is a refusal to be bound by convention or subject matter that has earned Feodorov recognition over the years, including being a part of the 2001 PBS series Art:21, Art for the 21st Century and its companion book published by Harry N. Abrams. Now an assistant professor of art at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., Feodorov was recently granted $7,370 through the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation as part of its 2010 Artistic Innovation—“Through the Soul of an Artist” award. With this money, Feodorov bought a new Macintosh and software to continue his art, and traveled to an opening of his one-man show, “Emergence,” at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. on the Institute of American Indian Arts campus.
A major theme of Feodorov’s work is reconnection to Native culture. Feodorov grew up in Southern California, where he was raised by his Navajo mother and had no connection with his father. His visits to the Navajo Reservation through his youth helped maintain family connections.
Below: Emergence #3 (detail) by John Feodorov. Acrylic and charcoal on unstretched canvas, 70" x 70 ", 2010.