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

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Groundwood Books, 2011 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 55 pages
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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.

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Review: High Riders, Saints and Death Cars: A Life Saved by Art

User Review  - your neighborhood librarian - Goodreads

It's the fortunate teenager who will come across this beautifully produced art book and its subject, self-taught folk artist Nicholas Herrera. Not only does Herrera describe his process, inspirations ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

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.

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