Demian DinéYazhi´ (born 1983) is an Indigenous Diné (Navajo) transdisciplinary artist born to the clans Naasht'ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water's Edge) & Tódích'íí'nii (Bitter Water). Growing up in the colonized border town of Gallup, New Mexico, the evolution of DinéYazhi´s work has been influenced by his ancestral ties to traditional Diné culture and ceremony, matrilineal upbringing, the sacredness of land, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. Through research, mining community archives, and social collaboration and activism, DinéYazhi´ highlights the intersections of Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist identity and political ideology while challenging the white noise of the contemporary art movement. DinéYazhi´ founded the artist/activist initiative, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, which is dedicated to the education, perseverance, & evolution of Indigenous art & culture. DinéYazhi´ also serves as co-director for the zine Locusts: A Post-Queer Nation Zine, which was a recent recipient of Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s 2017 Precipice Fund.
DinéYazhi´ has served as Artist-In-Residence at Institute of American Indian Arts (2016), and is a forthcoming 2017 resident for Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab Residency Program, as well as an awarded recipient of Crow’s Shadow 2017 Golden Spot Residency. An activist and cultural mediator, DinéYazhi´ has exhibited work nationally and internationally from respected art institutions to essential DIY alternative run spaces. He has received grants from Evergreen State College (2014, 2016), PICA - Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2014, 2016), Art Matters Foundation (2015), Poets & Writers (2016), and Potlatch Fund (2016).