Designer and textile artist Josh Tafoya blends traditional patterns and techniques with contemporary fashion in stunning and masterfully crafted designs.
Taos, NM | joshtafoya.com | @joshtafoya6
Born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, designer and textile artist Josh Tafoya blends traditional patterns and techniques with contemporary fashion in stunning and masterfully crafted designs.
A graduate in fashion design from Parsons New School of Design in New York, Tafoya returned to New Mexico to revive the knowledge of a traditional craft that had been disrupted generationally in his family. Looking to his sheep rancher grandfather and weaver grandmother, Tafoya now practices traditional Spanish weaving on a Rio Grande loom, a style of loom initially brought to the New World from Spain in the 1500s, which was subsequently refashioned and proliferated throughout Mexico and the Southwest. Using wool from the Navajo-Churro sheep, Tafoya creates wearable fashions as well as hanging tapestry works, sometimes incorporating other materials inspired by the landscape, such as discarded bailing twine and burnt, oiled, and blackened willow branches.
In Tafoya’s works, traditional weaving patterns are deconstructed and reconstructed, manipulated and recontextualized into contemporary fashions. Draping the textiles over a form, Tafoya discovers new cuts and silhouettes in the deconstructed shapes, reflecting cultural and ethnic influences, from traditional serapes to punk jackets. Through this process, he explores the idea of “modern constructs of tribalism in identity,” patch-worked together through the interplay of color and pattern, material and technique. The body serves as a performative space for this conversation.
All of Tafoya’s textile works are conceptually compelling, beautifully designed, and impeccably crafted. In his adroitly constructed circular patterned blanket, for instance, we see stunning evidence of his expert skill as a weaver. With his technical know-how in both traditional weaving and contemporary garment construction, along with his ancestral connection to the land and the craft, Tafoya’s works fuse deep traditions with cutting-edge design.
Tafoya’s current and upcoming pieces are available at Maida Goods, and he will be featured later this summer with a photo/video project with Vital Spaces in Santa Fe.