Enrique Chagoya is a Mexican-born painter and print-maker. His subject is the changing nature of culture.
He was born in Mexico City in 1953. He was partly raised by an Amerindian nurse who helped him to respect the indigenous people of his country and their history. He studied economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City in 1975. As a student, he was sent to work on rural development projects, an experience that strengthened his interest in political and social activism.
In 1977, Chagoya and his first wife immigrated to the United States, where he worked as a free-lance illustrator and graphic designer and for a time, in 1977, with farm laborers in Texas. In 1984, he earned a BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute and in 1987 an MFA at the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in San Francisco where he also shows at Gallery Paule Anglim and teaches art at Stanford University, where he received the Dean's Award in the Humanities in 1998.
His works are held in the collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D. C.), the New York Public Library, the San Jose Museum of Art (San Jose, California), the Art Institute of Chicago, Arkansas Arts Center (Little Rock, Arkansas) and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
His controversial artwork “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals”, which portrays Jesus, and possibly other religious figures, in a context of ambiguous sexual content, is part of 10-artist exhibit called “The Legend of Bud Shark and His Indelible Ink” which is on display in a city-run art museum in Loveland, Colorado. The copy on exhibit in Loveland, one of a limited edition of 30 lithographs, was destroyed by a woman wielding a crowbar on October 6, 2010. According to the artist the work is a commentary on the Catholic sex abuse cases. The woman is set to go to court on October 15, 2010.