Widely acknowledged as one of America's most successful and dynamic contemporary artists, John Nieto describes himself as an American artist who paints Indians, not an Indian artist. But whether the subject matter is Native Americans, indigenous wildlife or notable figures of the American West, the sensitivity and respect for his subject matter is clearly projected. Nieto's use of broad strokes and intense colors create a distinctive style that has won legions of collectors and admirers worldwide.
Nieto traces his New Mexico ancestory, a mix of Native American and Spanish, to the seventeenth century. He made the decision very early in life to become an artist, claiming he never thought of doing anything else for a living. After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a degree in art he went on a "vision quest" to Paris to seek direction for his art. While in Paris he became impressed with the Fauvist techniques of vivid color and bold outlines which he incorporated into his style. However he did not find his meaningful content until he returned home to New Mexico. During a visit to his 86 year old grandmothers where she asked him "Johnny, will you paint about my people?" Recalls Nieto, "That is when I started painting Native American themes. It was like being born again."
Today John Nieto has an international reputation and following. His art was used for the official poster of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
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