I see my mixed media sexual paintings as political reclamations. The sexual image is used to sell everything from cars to toothpaste, as if our bodies have become products we no longer own. I paint oil over acrylic over collage. I embellish the paintings with glass beads and blood. They are very sexually graphic, sculptural, human, and quite original. I use the blood to flatten the photographic quality. I then paint back the detail that I feel is important. Blood and sex are part of being human and being alive. We are so used to having our culture define how we perceive ourselves, our bodies, our sexuality, and who we are, that when someone has a different point of view of the sexual image and makes the commitment to put it on canvas, it can be frightening and challenging. As a Native American, the blood has a ritual aspect, and it is a way to put myselfÑmy DNAÑliterally into the painting. My paintings are ritual objects and they are sexual artifacts. I work primarily in hand made books. My ninth hand painted book PENTAGON; Sexual Deification & Spiritual Defiance was finished late 2006 and has been exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe. Currently I am working on my tenth book Alchemical Transsexual. I am also painting large canvases in the New Mexico desert, where I now live, that depict variations on images from the book. With each book I do, I need a drastic change in my life. With the new book I needed to leave San Francisco to live on a reservation, away from the city, without the things we take for granted like running water or electricity. It is quite a challenge to paint in the dirt, fighting the elements of nature, but that was always the challenge the alchemists had to endure. I have been a controversial artist for almost two decades. I am an artist that holds a mirror up to society to show its cracks. While most American artists strive for "rock star" status and easy money, I embrace the warrior philosophy of my Apache ancestors, one that focuses instead on world politics, controversy, radical sexuality, unconventional religion, revenge, the reclaiming of controversial symbols, the use of sex acts and blood rituals, and painting with my own bodily fluids. I see the unique position American artists have in influencing the world. I do not choose to be an entertainer, but rather an enlightener and instigator. I am an aesthetic war starter in the Native American tradition of ÒCoyote the Trickster.Ó Coyote never chooses camp or kitsch above content and truth. I am a complicated sell in a sugarcoated, dumbed-down global art market. Contemporary world culture puts marketability over substance, corporate rights over individual rights, one type of beauty over all others, stupidity over content and common sense. In the age of mediocre global mass culture anything smart and good is bad and may be a threat to our consumer culture, the economy, or even international security. I am a Prometheus in a Mickey Mouse world who chooses to look past the bread and circus of our cultural traps to embrace the full human experience. www.stevenleyba.com


1. Do not trust those that do not create, those that buy their creativity from the media, the advertiser, the
corporation, the church or the state; Put all resources in those that promote and propagate your personal

2. Nothing can be more powerful than one’s imagination, it is your instinct and right; never doubt this.

3. Use your power of creativity against the power and authority of compliance; they have waged a war on you
and they will continue to enslave you with it if you remain passive.

4. The only power is the power of creating, we all can create because we are the creator; always create.

5. We have become a civilization fueled by logic and consumption of consumer goods and in the process we have
sacrificed our instincts, our ability to trust ourselves and our ability to create; we must find our way back, we
must create our way forward.

6. The age of reason has lost its purpose and our ability to be creative has been discouraged, trivialized,
suppressed and stolen from us. We can no longer listen or trust the people of authority that tell us our
creativity is childish, impractical, insignificant and unnecessary. Make a mockery of them and always laugh.
Humor can create, humor will destroy!

7. These people of authority confuse their positions with power but the only power they have is the power we
give them; turn your back on them and create your own way.



Those That Trick Us Must Be Tricked

We have been tricked. You have been tricked by a culture of tricks. Why do you take it
so seriously? You wouldn’t take a bad joke as serious and as personal as you take this
trick culture, would you? We are living a bad joke and it is no longer funny. Western
culture has separated us from the natural world, other people, separated the sexes,
ourselves and our bodies. All of the things we have been separated from are used to
control and contain us. Western culture is a culture of the 2nd chakra. We are stuck in
a juvenile sexuality and our sexuality is sublimated into the production and
manufacture of consumer goods. We are no longer people or citizens we are consumers
and consumer goods. In pre Christian culture one would see phallic symbols
everywhere but no one would laugh simply because it was an improper symbol, they
knew it was a symbol of creating life. Human sexuality was a powerful instinct used to
create a life of endless possibilities. Why is human sexuality used to persuade us to buy
the lies, ideas, lifestyles and toothpaste they sell us? Why do we buy it? These ritual
consumer products steal our mind, time and power from us. Why not take it back?
Sexuality was a sophisticated force and source of motivation and energy that put magic
and spirituality in the world. It is now being used to take magic and spirituality out of
the world. The phallic symbols have been replaced by trademarked logos that mark and
hypnotize us into a constant desperation, inadequacy and emotional need. Our
ancestors would say that this is a spell placed on us by ourselves. It isn’t about them
versus us because we helped to create this trickery. Coyote teaches us to have the
instinct and spirituality to look past the machines of society. Not to destroy the machine
because that may destroy ourselves in the process. Coyote says we must turn the
machine and its manufactured world upside down and keep it upside down so we can see
how ridiculous all cultures become so we never forget our instinct. What once liberated
a people will soon trap and contain and control us all. Consumer culture has hypnotized
us into buying our creativity and sexuality from the manufacturer. Nobody needs to
sell you your creativity and your sexuality, do they? Why comply? We pay for the
privilege of being tricked. Why do we literally buy the shiny products and ideals they
sell us as if there are no other options? Why the scarcity? Why the fear? We are tricked
into buying our lives, our sexuality, our love and our creativity and all we get in return
are hollow objects that blind us into believing they are what we truly need and want.
These things are not what we truly need or want. Our time and money is theirs because
we play into their game. Why do we give most of our lives to the trick of the material
trade? We are responsible for being tricked. We must un-trick ourselves. We have put
technology and money above ourselves and the people in our lives. We have made
things the most important part of our life. Now it is time to move past all that. We don’t
have to throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to have another motivating
device that isn’t about making somebody else we will never meet richer. The Coyotel
religion is about following our bliss and turning our backs to laugh at the voluntary
slavery we have endured for so long! Why do we unquestioningly give up almost all our
time and energy? Why not laugh? We must laugh at ourselves for doing such a
ludicrous thing as complying with all of the tricks of social control. Coyote is the mirror
and all that we need to thrive and survive is within us. There is no need to purchase
what we already have within us. The working poor are the slaves that pay for their
Trickology. The greatest trick you can play on them is to buy only what you need and to
create. But most of what we think we need we don’t actually need. We must truly know
who we truly are and only then will the tricks of society be forever discredited and
trivialized just as it has trivialized and discredited our creativity, our sexuality, our life
and new possibilities. To create is to be spiritual. To create something for your self is
much more of a potent weapon than the destruction of the system or society. To destroy
gives them validation. To create gives them strife. If you are truly spiritual and you
create the life you live there is no way for them to sell it to you because you already own
it. The third option is to create not destroy. Society needs you more than you need it.
We need society a little bit but we don’t need it to dictate all aspects of our lives. Why
are our personal thoughts invaded by hollow products and lifestyles we are sold? Do
they really know what is best for us? We must know ourselves and trust our instincts.
Even the rich are a slave to this- give me more things so I can feel important and
creative culture. The Coyotel Church is the first church of creative application.
Remaining creative is the key to a lasting spirituality. Everyone must create or remain
a slave. Surely there are more options than indentured servitude? There is no human
spirit in consumer culture only human control. Not everyone is an artist but everyone
must create to remain awake and alive. If you create you will never follow. Those that
follow are always led away from themselves and their spirituality. Creativity is
spirituality. Coyote is the trickster who questions the “official story” of societies and
cultures. Coyote mocks the pomp and ceremony of social conformity because it blinds
our true instincts. Consumer culture has consumed us and made us slaves to the
marketplace and to credit. We are all indentured servants; even millionaires live on the
credit of our corporate masters. Everyone is and can be creative. Creativity is self-
expression. To think for yourself is the most potent spiritual and creative act there is.
To question our controllers and give and live new possibilities without asking
permission is the Coyotel way. We do not care to change the system of control it will
only be replaced with another system of control. We live to create the third option that
liberates us from indentured servitude. Self expression is suppressed in the global
society because most people buy rather than create. It is easier to accept than to think.
To think is truly the most creative and spiritual act. Not everybody is an artist but
everybody can and should create and express themselves. Why do they tell us all to
give up those childish dreams when we are young and creating our own lives? Because
they would rather we express ourselves in the market place by buying things and
buying who we are. Coyote knows you can’t buy who you are. People have confused
creating with buying. Humanity has a destiny to stop worshiping the hammer.
Technology and money are tools to use not to worship; they should never be the goal.
Our destiny is to see and feel more deeply and to move past the culture traps our
ancestors set for us. If you create you will never follow. Create your life by creating your
own options and not taking the control system seriously. You are the TRICKSTER
COYOTE you should do the tricking. It is time for Coyote to “MOCK THE SYSTEM”.
Remain creative. May we switch the tricks of the trade for truths of our lives. Trick
those that would trick us. Think and create your own life don’t buy it from the corporate
consumerist state. May the spell be lifted!