More than twenty years after their first joint exhibition at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC), Diego and Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo) show their latest work as the 2019 Living Treasures, opening April 7, 2019. The exhibition, The Brothers Chongo: A Tragic Comedy in Two Parts, features Mateo Romero’s lithographs and paintings, as well as Diego Romero’s pottery and lithographs. Pairing Pueblo imagery with cutting-edge messages, the exhibition will be on view until October 2019. The public opening includes a reception, to be held at 1:00 p.m. with family-friendly activities until 4:00 p.m., and an artist discussion at 3:00 p.m.
Though the brothers employ separate artistic mediums, the exhibition articulates a collective vision of the future for Native people. Both Diego’s pottery and Mateo’s paintings address how to heal communities through a shared experience. Della Warrior (Otoe-Missouria), director of MIAC, addresses awarding Diego and Mateo Romero as the 2019 Living Treasures. “While their individual careers continue to soar, we are honored to spotlight their talent, unique perspectives and distinct artistic styles with an exhibition of their current work scheduled to open this April.”
Lillia McEnaney curates the exhibition, capturing each of the brothers’ unique styles. Mateo creates bold brushstrokes and contemporary viewpoints with a mix of oil and acrylic paint while Diego’s pottery garners influence through graphic designs—both demonstrating innovative style through social commentary and, at times, humor. The opening artist discussion at 3:00 p.m. will focus on the brothers’ careers, from their first exhibition at MIAC to now, navigating a cross-cultural journey and developing their own aesthetics within their artistic practices.