“I think that I have developed a narrative and a voice. I like these little cartoony, political comments on bowls, and I like the fact that I can comment on the history of the pueblo people.”
Son of a Korean War veteran, Cochiti potter Diego Romero was born in California but often visited relatives in New Mexico. As a child, Diego was fascinated by ruins and ancient pottery. As a young man, he learned to work with clay at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts. Diego continued his studies at the Otis-Parsons School of Design. Then, as a graduate student at UCLA, Diego was pushed toward including a narrative in his artwork. New Mexico has been his permanent home since 1993. Diego Romero’s bowls and jars are in museum collections worldwide, including the Denver Art Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the British Museum in London and the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
The bowls and jars
Inspiration can come from many places. Diego Romero cites sources as diverse as Greek sculpture, Mimbres pottery, Marvel comics, and CNN when discussing his work.
The foibles of modern life offer many ideas for his bowls. “I always love a good joke, some dark humor or a good critique of society,” he has said. More labor-intensive than the bowls, Diego’s jars often reflect the influence of Ancient Greek art, where heroes were elevated to the status of “superhero” and became the characters of mythology.