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