Diego Romero, Pop-Native-Fiction

Diego Romero’s work does this crazy thing: it draws you in because it looks like very old, traditional pottery but then, when you get up close, it’s like a little kid jumped out from a closet and shouted BOO!

Lest Tyranny Reign, 7.5×17 inches, ceramic

He’s clearly having way too much fun.

Diego’s pottery is based on techniques that are thousands of years old. Holding his work in your hands is surprising. It feels like touching an egg. It’s lighter than it looks and, as he points out, incredibly durable. And yet, if you drop it, it will shatter.

American Diastrophism, 30 x 27.7 inches, lithograph

One of his newest pieces, Lest Tyranny Reigns, is based on the story of the great Pueblo leader Pope who held off the Spanish invasion for a hot second. And because of his bravery and cunning, he has become a folk hero, the story of which lends itself beautifully to Diego’s work which gives a nod to the comic book illustrators he loved to read since childhood and still collects to this day.

Comic books, American films and pop art also influence his print work, which he creates with Black Rock Press in New Mexico. He loves appropriating cultures–after all, he’s seen plenty of people appropriate his culture. But it’s such a wonderful way to start a conversation: draw people in with something that is known and comfortable, then add the twist, the thing that makes you stop and think and ask questions.

To learn more about Diego, visit his gallery, Shiprock and check out our site, PACE Arts.

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Curator, writer, and strategist for artists and non-profits, Rose Fredrick has spent the last three decades producing exhibitions that have not only raised considerable funds for scholarships and education, but have also launched artists’ careers. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and her essays and interviews have been used in workshops, college courses, and museum exhibitions. She has won the National Endowment for the Arts grant, Rock West Curator of the Year, Denver’s The Big Read, Best Multicultural Book from the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards.

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