"For Jaque Fragua, 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.

Issues of social justice loom large in Fragua’s work, and the public platform that street art affords provides the appropriate forum for his activism. He works with the art and advocacy group Honor the Treaties and a recent mural in Tucson decried Arizona’s decision to remove Ethnic Studies from state-sponsored education.”

-Jessica Hunter-Larsen

EDUCATION

2005-2006 Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM; New Media Arts

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2013 ZENDO, Albuquerque, NM, TOUGH SOUL

2013 1Spot Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, #NATIVEAMERICA

2012 IZZY MARTIN, Albuquerque, NM, POPUP SHOP

2012 SB’s Late-night Lunchbox, Las Cruces, NM, Prints, & the Revolution

2012 Beals And Abbate Fine Art, Phoenix, AZ, Cowboy & Injuns

2010 Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, Rubbish

GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2014 South Bay Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, NATIVE

2014 1Spot Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, Abstract Abstract

2013 J. Riggs Fine Art, Miami, FL, As Is

2012 Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA, Marketplace

2012 Santa Fe Hilton, Santa Fe, NM, The Hour Has Arrived: Interiors

2011 FireGod Gallery, Albuquerque, NM, Vision Quest

2010 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, NM, The Populist Phenomenon

2010 FireGod Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, FireGod Gallery Presents

2010 Tonatierra Institute, Phoenix, AZ, Resource Recourse

2009 Pop Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Native Pulse

2009 Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, Home Is Where The Art Is

2009 Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC, Ramp It Up

2008 Pop Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Blazing Saddles

2008 Think Visual Gallery, Point Arena, CA, Speaking from the Earth

2007 Pop Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Toys & Tales

2007 Pop Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Native Vinyl

2006 Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM, Relations: Indigenous Dialogue

2006 Institute of American Indian Arts Musuem, Santa Fe, NM, Student Spring Exhibition

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Shoemaker, Peter. “Artists You Need To Know,” New Mexico Magazine, August 2013

Quintana, Chris. “Artists shake up market with unconventional methods,” Santa Fe New Mexican, August 18, 2012.

Rose, Joshua. “Street, stone and bronze,” Western Art Collector Magazine, March, 2012.

Robertson, Josh. “American Indian Mural Krew Takes Miami,” Indian Country Today, January 7, 2012.

Chisholm, Christie. “On Native Ground: Jaque Fragua,” Localflavor, August, 2011.

Robertson, Josh. “Street Artist Jaque Fragua Helps Osage Youth Create Mural In Pawhuska,” Indian Country Today, May 24, 2011.

Bear, John. “Culture Shock,” Weekly Alibi, April 28, 2011.

Salem, Nancy. “Albuquerque: Street Art Comes Alive in New Mexico,” art ltd. magazine, January 2011.

Zolnick, Mike. “A Big Pile Of Trash,” Santa Fe Reporter, August 16, 2010.

Conn, Cyndi. “Seven Emerging Artists,” Santa Fe Trend, V8#1, Spring 2007.

Mitchell, Charles Dee. “Beyond the great interruption: the Institute of American Indian Arts recently sponsored the First Indigenous Biennial, featuring artists from the U.S. and Canada,” Art in America, Oct, 2006.

AWARDS

2014 Recipient, Visionary Award, Contemporary Native Art Magazine, Phoenix, AZ.

2012 Artist, The Rising Artists Project Artist Residency, Santa Fe Indian Market & Nativo Lodge, Albuquerque, NM.

2011 Fellow, Malcolm & Connie Goodman Fellowship, Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM.

ARTIST LECTURES

2014 Ohio Wesleyan University

2014 Columbia University

2014 Colorado College

2013 Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

2013 University of New Mexico

2013 Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

2012 New Mexico State University

2010 Institute of American Indian Arts

2008 Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
P☈♢✝☰C✝ ✝H☰ ↯AC☈☰D 
↯ HONOR OUR WOMEN & CHILDREN & CULTURE ↯
Art Alley, Rapid City, SD 2014
@jaqueheartbreak X @indiangiver
#protectthesacred #honorthepeople #honorthetreaties #blackhillsarenotforsale #uraniummoratorium #itendshere #aminext? #streetart #instagrafite #native #tribal #universal #sacred #muralism #jaquefragua #cheyennerandall #tough (at Art Alley)

P☈♢✝☰C✝ ✝H☰ ↯AC☈☰D
↯ HONOR OUR WOMEN & CHILDREN & CULTURE ↯
Art Alley, Rapid City, SD 2014
@jaqueheartbreak X @indiangiver
#protectthesacred #honorthepeople #honorthetreaties #blackhillsarenotforsale #uraniummoratorium #itendshere #aminext? #streetart #instagrafite #native #tribal #universal #sacred #muralism #jaquefragua #cheyennerandall #tough (at Art Alley)

"MOK UH SINS"

Jaque Fragua © 2014
Neon signage, SFNM
10 x 24 inches

Photo by Daniel Tullie

This piece is designed as a conceptual creation with the intention of installation in a public space, ideally in America. The text alludes to the contextual marketing of Native American roadside curios culture, a lot of which still exists on highway I-40 aka Route 66. Since the annexation of the Southwest by the U.S. in the mid 19th century, non-native settlers and visitors have exploited Native culture through tourism and spectacle, Indian Market as a prime example of Western capitalist efforts. This exploitation is still occurring currently in 2014, and as an existing issue it is a small but charged problem Native Americans are faced with. This is primarily an issue that corrupts the identity of our very unique cultures; a systematic approach at dismantling communities and interrupting their ways of life by homogenizing people into a category that appears as historical, consumable, and by all means dead, to others and sometimes to ourselves, unfortunately. Hence the marketing of our cultural relics and spiritual artifacts, things you would normally see in a national museum of most other cultures. However, with Native American culture, you can pick up such representations of the homogenized oppressed identity in shops on the side of the road, while you refuel and stock up on some kettle corn. While not overt, this is a pattern that slowly colonizes and degrades human beings to a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness, which is definitely a visual result that can be observed on most Indian reservations in modern times.

The word “moccasin” is an American adaptation of a word that is derived from the Algonquian language Powhatan, which essentially is “shoe”, according to wikipedia. I’ve created a neon sign that reads in the phonetic appearance of moccasins. In this way, I can attract more attention from the viewer and engage a dialogue in the deeper meaning. Because no marketing genius would ever spell what they’re selling phonetically, this would just create more confusion in the buyer. 

Neon signs are essential to the roadside culture of the Southwest. While traveling on Route 66, at night you could find your perceived destinations with ease. In a similar way, I’m attracting the passenger to an issue that is mostly overlooked and demeaned. The appropriation of Native cultural items/symbols such as “moccasins”, headdresses, jewelry, whirling logs, etc. leads people to believe that there is nothing sacred about us as human beings and that what we create and contribute to culture and to the world is nothing but meaningless mass-produced crap. This piece is a look into the current dialogue of our superimposed identity and how we can change how we are perceived and how we perceive our respective Native communities and our own selves.

"MOK UH SINS"

Jaque Fragua © 2014
Neon signage, SFNM
10 x 24 inches

Photo by Daniel Tullie

This piece is designed as a conceptual creation with the intention of installation in a public space, ideally in America. The text alludes to the contextual marketing of Native American roadside curios culture, a lot of which still exists on highway I-40 aka Route 66. Since the annexation of the Southwest by the U.S. in the mid 19th century, non-native settlers and visitors have exploited Native culture through tourism and spectacle, Indian Market as a prime example of Western capitalist efforts. This exploitation is still occurring currently in 2014, and as an existing issue it is a small but charged problem Native Americans are faced with. This is primarily an issue that corrupts the identity of our very unique cultures; a systematic approach at dismantling communities and interrupting their ways of life by homogenizing people into a category that appears as historical, consumable, and by all means dead, to others and sometimes to ourselves, unfortunately. Hence the marketing of our cultural relics and spiritual artifacts, things you would normally see in a national museum of most other cultures. However, with Native American culture, you can pick up such representations of the homogenized oppressed identity in shops on the side of the road, while you refuel and stock up on some kettle corn. While not overt, this is a pattern that slowly colonizes and degrades human beings to a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness, which is definitely a visual result that can be observed on most Indian reservations in modern times.

The word “moccasin” is an American adaptation of a word that is derived from the Algonquian language Powhatan, which essentially is “shoe”, according to wikipedia. I’ve created a neon sign that reads in the phonetic appearance of moccasins. In this way, I can attract more attention from the viewer and engage a dialogue in the deeper meaning. Because no marketing genius would ever spell what they’re selling phonetically, this would just create more confusion in the buyer.

Neon signs are essential to the roadside culture of the Southwest. While traveling on Route 66, at night you could find your perceived destinations with ease. In a similar way, I’m attracting the passenger to an issue that is mostly overlooked and demeaned. The appropriation of Native cultural items/symbols such as “moccasins”, headdresses, jewelry, whirling logs, etc. leads people to believe that there is nothing sacred about us as human beings and that what we create and contribute to culture and to the world is nothing but meaningless mass-produced crap. This piece is a look into the current dialogue of our superimposed identity and how we can change how we are perceived and how we perceive our respective Native communities and our own selves.

ZoomInfo
ZoomInfo
ZoomInfo

honorthetreaties:

JAQUE FRAGUA + SHEPARD FAIREY: DECOLONIZE AND KEEP CALM, AND WE ARE STILL HERE, LOS ANGELES, CA.

"From now on when people pass this wall they will understand that we as Indigenous beings are still here and that we are actively decolonizing the culture, the art, and the community. We will not tolerate violence, injustice, nor division any longer. Please help us to bridge the gaps and push towards the peace we all seek.” — Jaque Fragua

Load more posts
Subscribe