Enrique Chagoya

Artadia Awardee

Enrique Chagoya is an American-Mexican artist best known for his mixed-media paintings and prints. In his work, the artist combines contemporary cultural icons with Pre-Columbian imagery as a means of tackling controversial and politically charged subjects. “For me, it [my work] is a form of visual language that I mix to make visual sentences, which are not necessarily phonetic,” the artist has said. “I try to express my own personal anxieties in my work. When I address the idea of corruption, I corrupt sacred imagery with non-sacred imagery.” He is most commonly associated with his series Recurrent Goya (2015), in which he mocks political dysfunction in the modern world, pointing to the examples of Vladimir Putin, Dick Cheney, and Ronald Reagan. Born in 1953 in Mexico City, Mexico, Chagoya studied economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He moved to the United States in 1977, where he received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2013, the artist took part in the exhibition “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Today, his work found in the collections of the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. Chagoya lives and works in San Francisco, CA.