This artwork titled "War Bonnet" 1993 is an original color serigraph on heavy rag paper by noted American artist John Nieto, 1936-2018. It is hand signed and numbered 70/195 in silver pen by the artist. The image size is 12.25 x 9.75 inches, sheet size is 14.5 x 12 inches. It is in excellent condition, has never been framed.
About the artist:
John Nieto calls himself an American artist who paints Indians, not an Indian artist. An acclaimed leader of his field, but taking a separate path to represent Native Americans in striking symbolic portraits, Nieto is exhibited worldwide and has had paintings accepted for the Presidential library.
He does not attempt to be authentic, but to show a core Native spirit. His Indians seem to belong to a universal tribe that suggest a common, Far Eastern origin, and connection with a contemporary group.
Early this century, Indian artists were cultivated in a white man's school and encouraged to portray ancestral and reservation experiences. Art from that period was inauthentic and oblivious to world trends. Since mid-century, Indian-born artists began to tell a bitter truth of Indian pain from alcoholism and other social problems.
John Nieto belongs to neither camp. His Indians are not idealized or troubled. They are potters, warriors, silversmiths or shamans in traditional garb, as well as indigenous wildlife, painted in brilliant, oddly paired colors and radiating a quiet dignity.
"There is no formula for my faces. I paint the dance of identity around the pan-Indian bone structure of all Native Americans. I am painting a person, but I am painting much more than that," says Nieto. He says that his art "is the result of an emotional involvement with my subject matter rather than a cerebral one."
He uses broad strokes and thick layers of brilliant colors with a halo of contrasting color traced around each figure. His electric hues are unmistakable. Nieto's work reflects his upbringing from Hispanic and Indian-born parents. His distinct style comes not only from his native New Mexico, where he still lives, but also from a global awareness and travels to Europe.
His unfettered use of brilliant colors has been likened to the Fauves of the 1920s' French movement. Nieto has spent time in Paris and also seems to be influenced by European expressionists who released the subconscious onto canvases. He also uses painting techniques and a spiritual awareness from the Far East.
His approach is ritualistic. "I'm in a trance when I paint. It's like being a drummer -- you don't look at the drums, you just know intuitively where they are."
Over the course of his career, Nieto's work was exhibited across the United States and in Europe, Japan, Latin America, and Africa. After participating in an exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, John met with President Reagan in the Oval Office of the White House and presented him with his painting, “Delegate to the White House.” The work was hung in in the White House for many years and was later included in the collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. In 1994, Nieto received New Mexico's Governor's Award for achievement in the Arts, the state’s highest honor for a living artist. He received Southern Methodist University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. Today, Nieto’s work is represented in prominent museum and private collections across the country. His work, the subject of two books and numerous articles, is also represented in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
In 1994, Nieto received New Mexico's Governor's Award for achievement in the Arts. He has served on the Advisory Board of The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, the Advisory Board of the Native American Preparatory School, and is a Regent at his alma mater, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Selected permanent Museum Collections:
Booth Museum, Cartersville, GA
National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, WY
The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX
New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Marine Corp Museum, Washington, D.C.
The Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
John Nieto has also been a part of the Art in Embassies Program since 1982. The embassies in which his art is and has shown are as follows:
Rangoon, Burma, 2006 - Present
Cairo, Egypt, 2002 - 2005
Jakarta, Indonesia, 2000 - 2005
Bangkok, Thailand, 1999
Manama, Bahrain, 1998
Caracas, Venezuela, 1997
Lima, Peru, 1996
Tokyo, Japan, 1991
La Paz, Bolivia, 1989
Luxembourg Embassy, Washington, D.C. 1983
US Embassy & US International Communications Agency, Barbados 1982