John Nieto is widely regarded as one of America's most accomplished, dynamic and exciting contemporary artists. His work concentrates on themes that transcend mere representation. His liberal use of intense primary colors, applied in bold strokes, creates both dimension and character on the canvas. His etchings and drawings exemplify classic linear techniques resulting in images of great detail and depth. All of Nieto's art projects a sensitivity and respect for his subject. His work personifies his unique vision of the subjects he paints on canvases alive with vibrant, electric hues. Nieto's work reflects his Hispanic and American Indian ancestry. His New Mexican roots can be traced back over 300 years. His unfettered use of brilliant colors has been likened to the 1920's French Fauvist movement, which impressed him greatly during a visit to Paris. The Fauves gave him "permission" to use the colors he already felt intuitively.
Nieto's distinctive style, combination of subject matter, expressionist technique, and use of strong color is instantly recognizable and collectors throughout the United States and abroad prize his work. He has produced bronze sculptures, etchings, lithographs and silk- screen prints, in addition to drawings in pastel crayons and charcoal. The past several years, however, have been devoted almost exclusively to painting. After participating in an exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., John met with President Reagan in the Oval Office and presented him with the painting "Delegate to the White House." The painting hung for the duration of the President's term in office and now has been included in the presidential library.
In 1981, John participated by invitation in the "Salon d'Autumn" at the Grand Palais, Paris, France, and in 1989 he mounted a one-man show at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Each summer he had an annual exhibition in Santa Fe, NM, at Ventana Fine Art, and Altamira Fine Art Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY. John received the New Mexico Governor's Award for Achievement in the Arts in 1994, and has served on the Advisory Boards for both the Wheelwright Museum and the Native American Preparatory School. He is represented in the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, and called New Mexico his ancestral home. John passed away in 2018 at the age of 82.