From the Artist - Jaque Fragua:
Jaque’s room is a unified vision. The wall is a deep charcoal splashed with gold paint. There is a repeating pattern done in pink that surrounds the entire room. The design pattern is based on pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pottery designs from the San Juan basin (New Mexico today). Jaque researched this pottery design at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and brought the idea back to incorporate it in his artist room. For Jaque Fragua (Jemez Pueblo), graffiti was born not on a New York street corner in the 1970s, but as petroglyphs created on his ancestral lands near Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. Growing up on and off the reservation, Fragua witnessed his family’s practice of traditional Native art forms and also participated in illicit graffiti tagging, and came to experience both as natural expressions of personal and cultural identity. As a practicing artist, graffiti has become a mode with which Fragua can complicate the entrenched notions of Native identity that are created and reinforced through popular visual culture. Part of graffiti’s power lies in its ability to disseminate ideas quickly to a broad audience, either through its placement on highly public sites or on moving trains or subway cars. For artists such as Fragua, graffiti’s connection to travel makes it a particularly relevant way to critique the tourist culture that pervades New Mexico. Images on billboards, highway signs, and tourist traps offer up Native culture as a saleable commodity, impersonal, and empty of social and aesthetic relevance. Fragua’s public murals appropriate these images, turning them against themselves. By incorporating authentic elements, such as textile and pottery designs into his consumer-culture mashups, his art both bears witness to, and holds us accountable for, the dissolution of the Native American dream.
About Jaque Fragua:
Jaque Fragua is an acclaimed multi-media artist from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. From his cultural background, he has developed a yearning for creativity and for the intrinsic process that is Art. Experimenting with various mediums, such as aerosol, found-objects, earthworks, poetry, and music, messages of civil unrest, social justice, emotional introspection, and personal healing have heartened his unique perspective on life through art. Fragua has studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and in turn, has taught many community-based workshops, such as mural projects/public-art studies, and studio classes for figure drawing and painting. Jaque also did the graffiti background art on this Nativo Lodge website. Fragua has worked with fine establishments such as Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture to produce progressive/innovative exhibits concerning the plight of Native America. Fragua is also involved in the Honor the Treaties organization combining art and Native American activism.
Artist Guest Rooms are in a community partnership in conjunction with the Institute of American Indian Arts.