Artist Spotlight: JD Roybal
Works by Midcentury Native American artist JD Roybal reflect Pueblo ceremonials with an illustrative and playful approach. Most known for his gauche and watercolor works, Roybal joined forces with Santa Fe printer Tewa Enterprises to produce a series of screen prints at an accessible price. In contrast to other printing methods, screen prints are pulled by hand - a separate stencil-like screen used for each color application - rendering a richer color pallet and paint quality.
Born in 1922, José Desiderio Roybal (JD Roybal) was from San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico. Revered for its tradition of black on black pottery, San Ildefonso was home to potters like Maria Martinez and JD’s parents, Tonita and Juan Roybal. Following in the footsteps of his uncle, painter Awa Tsireh (Alfonso Roybal), JD Roybal, too, gravitated toward two dimensional works.
Animated ceremonial dancers feature as prominent subjects in Roybal’s works, with a favorite being Koshare clowns. Mischievous and spirited, Roybal represents the dancers in single portraits and group processionals. Often posed in profile, these figures stand out on a white ground with graphic composition.
Pueblo paintings by JD Roybal have been exhibited at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum and Arizona State Museum.
On his 1978 passing, Roybal left behind his wife Julia and their three children, Gary, Leon, and Bernice.
Shop available works by JD Roybal here.