lives in Gallup, NM
born in Gallup, NM
ericpaulriege.com | @ericpaulriege
Eric-Paul Riege’s (Diné) elaborate and beautiful fiber works not only connect him with his ancestral and artistic centers, but also envelop viewers in an everyday Navajo worldview, one that the artist believes should be communal.
The Gallup-based weaver and fiber artist creates woven sculptures, wearable art, and durational performances that, to him, directly link him to generations of makers and women weavers in his family. These pieces are informed by Hózhó, a Diné philosophy and way of being that “encompasses beauty, balance, and goodness in all things physical and spiritual and its bearing on everyday experience,” writes Riege in his artist statement.
“Having conversations with my work, it is our desire for our existence to align with the spaces we inhabit and the people that surround us,” Riege writes. “To welcome my family, friends, strangers, angels, Holy People, ancestors [and] animals into our lives and to embrace them with the warmth of our hug.”
Sometimes, Riege carries the sculptures around a gallery space for periods of up to twelve hours. At other moments, the large-scale sculptures sway from the ceilings, enveloping the art-goer in a sanctuary-like environment that’s influenced by sacred places of worship and ceremonial sites, such as a hooghan.
“You are welcome to enter these spaces; you are welcome to stay; you are welcome to touch,” says Riege, a graduate of the University of New Mexico, who has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and was included in Casa tomada, the 2018 biennial at SITE Santa Fe. “This place is yours and it is mine, and it is ours to share.”