They Call Me Cheetah









Gun Show / Art Show by Jaque Fragua

"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 (b. 1986, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico) is an artist 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. Fragua studied Visual Communications at the Institute of American Indian Arts and has exhibited widely both throughout the US, Europe, and Japan.

"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, hip-hop, punk, rock & roll, jazz, graffiti, tattoos, dark brown skin, long black hair, spiritual wisdom, traditional knowledge, direct action, and painting..."