High Riders, Saints and Death Cars by Nicholas Herrera
A Life Saved by Art

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Nicholas Herrera started life as a mischievous, dyslexic boy, born into one of the old Spanish families of New Mexico. Bad teachers and poor schooling helped him to lose himself in drugs, drinking, riding motorcycles and driving fast cars. A near-death experience, a wonderful mother and a fascination with making art saved him. Today Nicholas Herrera is one of the most noted Santeros in the US. His work is displayed in folk-art galleries across the country and is collected by the Smithsonian. He is noted for the highly personal, political nature of his work and his innovative treatment of what can sometimes be a rather bland art form designed to sell to tourists. His work is intensely personal and even confessional. A survivor of alcoholism and drug addiction, which almost led to his death in a terrible car crash, Herrera is now sober and remarkably productive. His art is his life and his life is his art. Extraordinarily charismatic, Herrera is the grandson, nephew and son of artists. His young daughter is now following in his footsteps.

About Nicholas Herrera

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Nicholas Herrera is one of the best-known folk artists working in the United States today. His art is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City, the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, the Regis University Collection of New Mexican Santos in Denver, the Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, and the Harwood Museum in Taos. His work has been exhibited in New York, Paris, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Pueblo and Santa Fe. John T. Denne is a photographer who lives and works in New Mexico. Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator who lives in Toronto.
Published June 28, 2011 by Groundwood Books. 56 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books.

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The subtitle of New Mexican folk artist Herrera's autobiography (told to and written by Amado) isn't hyperbole: even Herrera's mother wasn't sure he would survive his wild and self-destructive teenage years during the 1960s ("If he makes it to twenty-five he'll make it," she says).

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of High Riders, Saints and Death...

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