1995–2002 New Mexico Watercolor Society – Juried Shows

2001 – Watercolor Society Masterworks Show – 2nd Place Award

2008 – 2012 – represented by the Northern New Mexico Art Gallery, Santa Fe

2014 – 2019 – New Mexico State Fair Fine Art Juried Shows

2015 – Group Show and Grand Opening – FaraHNHeight Fine Art Gallery, Taos, NM

2017 – One Man Show – FaraHNHeight Fine Art Gallery, Taos, NM

2017 – Works presented on Arches Paper Online Gallery:

2017 – Project Manager Santa Fe Artists’ Medical Fund Annual Show

2018 – Taos Ski Valley Artist in Residence Show

2018 – Taos Ski Valley Artist in Residence Show

2018 – Taos Fall Arts Show Selected Works

2018 – Old Martina’s Hall, Ranchos de Taos, NM – Featured Artist

2018 – Fall Show – Romancing the Stone Fine Art Gallery, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 

2018 – Holiday and Christmas Eve Show – Romancing the Stone Gallery, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM

2019 – Represented by Heritage Fine Art Gallery, Taos, NM

2019 – November 1 – 16, 2019 Early Winter Show collaboration between Faust Art Gallery and FaraHNHeight Fine Art Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2020 – Two Person Show – A Counting of Crows –  with Betsy Kuhn at Art on Barcelona, Unitarian Universalist Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2020 – New Artist Video Launched in April, 2020

2020 – Two New Avanyu Paintings and Several New Paintings from the Spirits of Chaco Canyon Series Debut in the Spring of 2020


My artwork takes a contemporary look at the American West from a realistic, unromantic perspective.

© Joseph Riggs Fine Art

The Spirit of Taos Mountain, 2017. 40″ x 60″. ©Joseph Riggs

My journey as an artist has taken a multitude of paths as my life has been one adventure after another.  After 40 years as a criminal defense attorney in New Mexico, I began a new life and career as an artist.  I had always painted, and much of my earlier artistic career focused on rodeos and rodeo cowboys.  I retired from the practice of law in 2014, and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In 2015, I had the good fortune to have an artistic life-changing experience.  I spent six weeks in Paris, France experiencing life as a Frenchman.  I walked the streets of Picasso, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and so many others of the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism period.  And I learned one of the important lessons taught by these Masters. “Paint what inspires you, and, if luck smiles upon you, someone else might love it enough to buy it.”  I determined to follow that path.

I returned to New Mexico with a new perspective.  I wanted to experiment with new materials and new subjects.  I wanted to see where my inspirations led.  My new paintings began to focus on what I loved most about New Mexico and the Southwest.  The sky has always fascinated me, both the daytime sky and the nighttime sky with its millions of stars.  I began to paint Native American subjects which had been a mystery to me since my childhood in Texas. And, I began to feel the spirit of Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Juan Gris, Georges Braque and Albert Gleizes – whose spirit had guided me in Paris.  I had always loved Cubism, and its roots with Cezanne.  And it was fitting that it is now the 100th anniversary of this 20th Century art movement.  Could I combine these spiritual influences, and make them my own, and like what I was painting?  Could I follow the storied Southwest Modernism movement of Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Raymond Jonson, Andrew Dasburg, John Marin, and Cady Wells?  Could I put all of these influences together, and carve a new artistic path?  I determined to try.

“The Spirit of Taos Mountain”, pictured above demonstrates both my process and my subjects.  I combine the land of Taos Mountain,  the Southwestern sky, and a Kachina Mask with the concepts of  Cubism.

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