2008 Indian Market Poster: Mateo Romero’s Deer Dancer Series

Date July 31, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Categories Performing Arts


The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) selected a painting by internationally recognized artist Mateo Romero as the image for its 2008 SWAIA Indian Market poster. Depicting an icon of an ancient spiritual practice, the Deer Dancer, which is still alive today in the Pueblos, and at the same time offering a superb representation of contemporary art in its execution and technique, Romero's piece is a fitting symbol to promote the world's largest fine art exhibit by Native American artists.

"I am pleased and honored to have been chosen to represent SWAIA,"€ Romero said, "I feel very fortunate to stand on the shoulders of the people who came before me."€

The original Deer Dancer Series, a 40"€ x 60"€ mixed-media on panel created using a technique called "photo transfer process," and acrylic paint, will be auctioned at the SWAIA Indian Market Gala Auction on Saturday, August 23.

An articulate artist simultaneously entrenched in the contemporary art world and Pueblo life, Mateo Romero's work gracefully pays homage to the traditions established by the fine artists who came before him while embracing modern artistic influences.

"Deer Dancer Series depicts a collision between realism and abstraction. It symbolizes spiritual and metaphysical activity,"€ Romero said. "I have recreated the ritualistic Deer Dance through my art so that the viewer may experience commonality with Pueblo people."€

Romero's mixed-media paintings are truly exquisite. The abstract impressionistic background typical of his work shows bold use of color, fine brushwork and expert technique, while the foreground images-transferred from photographs-seem to hover ethereally above the surface of the canvas.

Romero is a Dartmouth College graduate and received an MFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. He was also granted an honorary AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he was a painting instructor. He has won numerous awards at SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market and Heard Museum Indian Market. And, he was selected as the 2002 Dubin Fellow in painting at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe. In 2006, Romero published "Painting the Underworld Sky: Cultural Expression and Subversion in Art"€ (2006, SAR Press).

The 2008 SWAIA Indian Market will be held on August 23 and 24. Romero has been showing his work at SWAIA Indian Market since 1989, and will have about a dozen pieces this year on exhibit at his booth, which he will share with his wife, Melissa Talachy, an acclaimed potter, on Lincoln Street. Originally from Cochiti Pueblo, Romero lives with his wife and children in his wife's village, Pojoaque Pueblo.

The mission of the non-profit Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is to be an advocate for Native American arts and cultures (particularly those in the Southwest), and create economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by: producing and promoting the Santa Fe Indian Market as the finest Indian art event in the world, cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms, and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists year-round. For more information, visit www.swaia.org.

P.O. Box 969 "€¢ Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504 "€¢ 505.983.5220 "€¢ www.swaia.org
SWAIA is a non-profit organization supporting Native arts and cultures