Surreal Post Indian Blues & The Origin of the Sun and the Moon

James Luna

Artist Bio

Surreal Post Indian Blues & The Origin of the Sun and the Moon is a performance work with video and music. A satiric subversion of Native American ritual and stereotype, the piece re-interprets images from mainstream popular culture, juxtaposing them with the reality of reservation life. Surreal Post Indian Blues is the first of Luna’s pieces to involve additional performers, a musical director, and a video artist.

Award Year


James Luna

James Luna

Pauma Valley, CA

James Luna lived on the La Jolla Indian reservation in Pauma Valley, California. Since 1987, his performances have been presented at the Whitney Biennial in New York; The Detroit Institute of the Arts; the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada; and, with Guillermo Gomez-Pena, at the Mexican Fine Art Museum in Chicago. His visual art has been exhibited at several museums and galleries. Also a video artist, Luna has screened his work at the Sundance Film Festival, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Wichita Museum of Photographic Arts. He is the recipient of a 1991 Bessie Award, an Intercultural Film/Video Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, and a Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium video grant. Luna has taught studio art at the University of California at Davis, University of California at San Diego, and University of California at Irvine.

James Luna passed away in 2018.