A USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor Book
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 -- artists who create images of saints and other religious figures -- in the U.S. The text, as told to Elisa Amado, tells Nicholas's story through his art and expounds the hard-earned wisdom that his experience has brought him. Herrera's life, his political views about drugs, his sense of social justice, and his support for oppressed people will speak directly to young readers, especially those who might feel that life has nothing to offer them due to their economic circumstances or their class or ethnic backgrounds.
It's a fortunate teenager who will come across this beautifully produced art book and its subject...
"... most pieces display a tongue-in-cheek humour as well as a love of colour and reverence for traditional beliefs. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos by John T. Denne. "
The biography’s appeal lies in the art’s derivation from daily life in a New Mexico town where the artist still lives today.
His unique view of the modern world combined with his traditional methods make Herrera an important contemporary santero.
[Herrera]...makes clear the concrete impact that art can have.
Herrera and his art are interesting and engaging.
...stunning photographs...and a lively narrative...