Interview with Pueblo Artist Anthony Romero
My name is Anthony Romero. I am from Ohkay Ohwingeh (San Juan) Pueblo. I do acrylic painting.
My origins they are coming from my pueblo culture. It’s just displaying the beauty and the culture that you’d normally not see from our pueblos because we’re more secluded and more kept within the villages.
So now I’m bringing it out; certain aspects of the dances, the clothing, and I just want to share that through my paintings. It’s important to share because nobody really knows about us unless you’re Native or know somebody from the pueblo. I know there are artists before me that have displayed the same thing or something similar, I just want to show what I see and what I portray and what I want to show from our culture.
I really don’t remember why I started painting, I just got a canvass one time and some paint and I started painting. The canvass that I got was pretty big, like a 30X40. From there I just had these images stuck in my head, the designs from the clothing and the pottery. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s how painted my first painting. It’s a lady grinding corn. She is wearing what we wear for the basket dance in San Juan pueblo. That was my very first painting, and that was last year in December. I’ve been painting ever since.
I’m just painting for myself and for my culture. That’s what I mainly want to do is just share it with people. I guess I am happy when I finish a painting but I don’t think I get any emotions while I paint. The only thing I can say is that I’m emotionally connected to my culture and what we do. That’s just something that I love. I love to go back home and participate in everything that we do there. It’s just something people don’t know. And it’s making me happy for bringing it out.
I just want to get rid of that stereotype that we’re all alcoholics or we’re all struggling. There are all these negative things people think about us, but do you really know? That’s what I want to bring out. That’s why I’m painting. I don’t really think non-Native people know the difference between the Navajo and the Apache or the Pueblos. They don’t even know they are 19 pueblos. That’s why I want to paint my culture.
With my art I’m hoping to be in museums. With that I wanted to get a screen press and make t-shirts too. I don’t know, just keep painting and keep doing different things and seeing where that goes.
Right now I have an Instagram. It’s my native name soekhuwa pin. The little name underneath is called ants. I just mad an Etsy shop, it’s called “fog mountain.” That’s what my name means. It means like the fog in the mountain.
See more of Pueblo artist Anthony Romero in the future.