Artist Jaque Fragua, who grew up on the Jemez Pueblo, usually expresses his urgently questioning worldview through bold combinations—partly of materials (from aerosol paint to found objects) and partly of ideas (like technology’s impact on colonization). Fragua collaborated with Chris Stain and Lichiban in 2010 on murals on the south- and west-facing walls of the El Rey Theater, and his William S. Burroughs-influenced series "Separate Savage Realities" is currently available at the NATIVE(X) Gallery in Santa Fe. Now Fragua’s distinctive aesthetic is taking him in a novel direction: a collaboration with Santa Fe clothing brand Not New Worldwide that includes a vintage slub cotton t-shirt and a raw denim jacket. Fragua’s screen-printed “Don’t Believe the Type” tagline “can be a comment on streetwear, graffiti [or] advertising,” said Jack Rael of Not New Worldwide in a press release. The designs will be unveiled at a pop up shop inside Nob Hill menswear store Izzy Martin (3019 Central NE), launching Friday, Aug. 30 from 6:30 to 9pm.
The campaign for the clothing line includes a slick video shot on the streets of Albuquerque. Media artist Dylan McLaughlin says he followed Fragua and Rael over the course of about an hour and a half. “We started in Nob Hill and moved downtown,” he tells me via email. “All the imagery in the that area is iconic and recognizable. Albuquerque has a very great aesthetic when viewed from the right perspective.” Since that perspective here includes what appears to be illicit graffiti-making, it remains to be seen whether the video will bring the right kind of attention to the project. Still, there’s something bewitching about seeing iconic local spots photographed so stylishly. “Jaque sort of just did his thing and I did mine,” says McLaughlin. “Creation and collaboration [are] real when each person is doing what feels right.”