Clifford Fragua

Bronze Sculpture

"There is a sense of dignity and peace inherent in marble. A good sculptor can make that apparent; a great sculptor taps into that dignity and gives it voice. Clifford Fraguas pieces speak fluently of a deep and abiding respect for his ancestry.

Clifford is of Jemez Pueblo descent. As a …

"There is a sense of dignity and peace inherent in marble. A good sculptor can make that apparent; a great sculptor taps into that dignity and gives it voice. Clifford Fraguas pieces speak fluently of a deep and abiding respect for his ancestry.

Clifford is of Jemez Pueblo descent. As a young man, he recognized his interest in art and studied sculpture at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He later apprenticed under the well-known artist Allan Houser.

Stone quickly became Clifford's medium of expression, though he works in bronze as well. He considers marble an honest material with which to create, and in the purest sense, one of the most grounding. A strong tie to the earth is evident in Clifford's sculptures.

The Native American woman is a predominant subject in Clifford's art. His female figures possess a serenity and grace that transcend their earthy beginnings. The carvings display a blend of power and delicacy, traits that Clifford plainly admires and reveres in his models.

To look at Clifford's pieces, one can see a harmonious balance of natural elements in the design. His women, though tall, are almost entirely hidden from the eye beneath long gowns. Often times no part of the body is visible but the head. This solid expanse of marble reiterates the connection to earth: immovable, unchanging, almost imposing in its strength. Yet wind and water have their roles to play in Clifford's artwork. The gowns curve and ripple gently as they fall from neckline to the ground; one has a sense of wind blowing across the sculpted fabric. Each of the figures has a great cascade of hair stretching down their backs in an unbroken stream, like a mighty river flowing to the sea.

The women Clifford creates gaze out on the world with a clarity and levelness that both draws the beholder in with its frankness and holds him at a distance. It seems Clifford has sculpted the Mother, the Creator and Created, born of the elements and yet bending them to her will. His continued exploration of this theme is constantly evolving and always intriguing."

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