GUN SHOW | Jaque Fragua
June 22 – July 28, 2019
Artists Reception: June 22, 7–9 PM
These Days is pleased to present Gun Show, a solo exhibition of new work by Jaque Fragua.
For Jaque Fragua, there is no distinction between politics and art. He simultaneously resists and creates. Fragua’s (Jemez Pueblo, born 1986) latest body of work extends his radicalism and commitment to protect and engage Indigenous bodies and nations as sovereign. Where the American educational experience and media output fall short on telling more truthful narratives of Indigenous histories and lived experiences, through a tight selection of new art in the Gun Show, Fragua raises and provokes narratives of Indigenous subjugation and erasure, annihilation and terrorization, disenfranchisement and hypercapitalism. Fragua’s work offers an antidote to white supremacy with urgency, immediacy, and intention.
Fragua’s visions manifest as full-bodied sensory experiences that engage the eyes, heart, and mind. Generative of social change and oriented toward future dialogues, Fragua seeks to reawaken Native communities’ rights to assemble, self-determination, and freedom of speech, critical reminders of basic constitutional rights. With a healthy dose of Punk ethos, Fragua’s Gun Show stages insurgencies and direct actions through recognizable signs, symbols, and wordplay and jolts us from our historical amnesia and state of lethargy. Rattling the cage is not enough for Fragua, who says, “You need a taser these days.” His lean, angular letters, bold color stories, and sardonic re-appropriations of conglomerate logos offer solutions -- visual “reverse Uno cards” -- for reconciling with the unequal ecological burdens Indigenous communities endure in the razing of our planet, and for triumphing over generations of inherited cultural traumas. Fragua’s interventions penetrate the public sphere -- moving us, shifting us, and urging us all to stand up and answer back.
- Karen Kramer
Curator, Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture Director, Native American Fellowship Program, Peabody Essex Museum
"Gun Show is a title, a double entendre, a metaphor, a facsimile of our current situation. As an artist, how do you defend your constitutional rights? Art is a weapon, guns are also weapons. I utilize both. I exercise my right to this land, and I’m governed by laws that predate any current law of the United States of America. I’m a human being that is sovereign, and I come from a tribe that is sovereign. Existing in an environment that seems lawless, I will utilize the tools that are lawful to protect myself and my tribe. How do you engage and protect your freedom of speech?"
- Jaque Fragua
Jaque Fragua (b. 1986, Santa Fe, NM) is an artist from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, whose work features visions drawn from traditional Native American ceramics, blankets, tattoo designs and more. Fragua authentically repurposes his culture’s iconography, which conceptually subverts our overconsumption of misappropriated Native American design and identity.
Institute of American Indian Arts
2017 MACLA, San Jose, CA, Notes On Democracy
2016 The New School, New York, NY, #NODAPL
2016 San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, When I Remember, I See Red
2016 Form & Concept, Santa Fe, NM, Made In The Desert
2016 New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA, WOW POW
2016 Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Gentrifried
2015 University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Interwoven: Indigenous Contemporary
2015 Empire Seven Studios, San Jose, CA, Archetype$
2015 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, Necessary Force: Art In The Police State
2014 CONCEPT Art Fair, Miami, FL, In The Round: Featuring Ai Weiwei
2014 GF Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM, Deconstructing Coyote
2014 Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, OR, Native + Portland
2014 South Bay Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, NATIVE
2014 Columbia University, New York, NY, Art & Activism: Public Art & the Native Diaspora
2013 1Spot Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, #NATIVEAMERICA
“Art has always been a struggle for me. I relate this struggle to the angst of my identity. My identity is not just rooted in Native American culture. Instead, I find myself an amalgam of DNAs, historical trauma, boarding schools, civil rights, Alcatraz, American dreams, urbanization, reservation tragedy, creative triumph, war stories, fist fights, jail time, racial profiling, mixed opinions, hiphop, punk, rock & roll, jazz, graffiti, tattoos, dark brown skin, long black hair, spiritual wisdom, traditional knowledge, direct action, and painting…" - Jaque Fragua