THE ARTIST WHO SEES WITH HIS HANDS
Over the course of a feature-length documentary, Dream Touch Believe explores the life and creative work of blind, Native American sculptor, Michael Naranjo. On a journey of highs and lows, intertwined with sublime visual imagery, viewers uncover the challenges Naranjo fought past to succeed in his dream of becoming an artist.
After surviving a nearly deadly grenade blast, Naranjo returned home from the war completely blind. He was often marginalized and treated without the dignity he once received as a sighted person. Naranjo’s choice to pursue a sculpting career as a blind, man was controversial. Though he grew up on an a small Indian reservation in New Mexico, where many of his family members found success as artists, he was discouraged from trying to pursue his sculpting dreams. Rehab educators insisted a blind, Native American sculptor could never truly find success. But Naranjo emerged from the shadows and stereotypes by developing his own sculpting technique. With no eyes and the use of just one hand, Naranjo didn’t just find success. Using the lost-wax process, Naranjo gained notoriety for creating shadow-like bronze pieces that often depict the memories that still dance within his mind’s eye – from tribal dancers to nude figures. His works are now in museums across the country and in institutions like the White House and Vatican. Ultimately, the film reminds viewers of the importance of dreaming and achieving life’s goals despite the circumstances.
For more information about the sculpture of Michael Naranjo, please visit:
Nedra Matteucci Galleries
1075 Paseo De Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Valley Fine Art
213 South Mill Street
Aspen, CO (970) 920-9193