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Nicolás de Jesús

Born on December 6, 1960, in Guerrero's Nahua region, México, Nicolás developed his art through his parents and his community of Ameyaltepec. Painting on bark paper technique is the preferred medium of expression of local traditions. His work reflects the spectrum of his experiences, from his origins in a traditional Mexican Village to Mexican immigrants' complex problems in the United States and his concern for preserving his cultural identity.

At a young age, he learned how to paint on amate bark paper from his father Pablo de Jesús—one of the first artisans in all of Mexico (he started in 1962) to produce the type of work that is now mass-produced and sold at tourist destinations. By the time the well respected art activist Felipe Ehrenberg started to teach Nicolás etching and other printing techniques, the young artist had already adopted the traditional amate composition with many whimsical and detailed characters and a great empty space atop the page to suggest a great distance. The reoccurring theme in Amayaltepec amates is everyday village life—it’s celebrations and beliefs. After moving to Chicago in the 1980s, de Jesús additionally started to depict urban life in U.S. barrios in the same manner.

(Bio courtesy of the artist and the website of Frontera Grill - Chicago)

Nicolas de Jesus in Permanent Collections:
- Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian.
(Permanent Exhibit) Washington, DC.
- Neuberger Museum of Art. Purchase, NY.
- De Paul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL.
- Rahr- West Art Museum. Manitowoc, WI. USA.
- National Museum of Mexican Art. Chicago, IL. USA.