Rose B. Simpson

Cat. no. 36. Rose B. Simpson. Santa Clara Pueblo, born 1983. Maria, 2014. 1985 Chevy El Camino. 56 x 74 x 117 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Kate Russell.

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Members of this community have chosen not to translate this label into their language. Mia respects the decisions of each sovereign Native nation.


“This is my only attempt at traditional pottery,” Rose Simpson says of Maria, a custom 1985 El Camino she found for sale on the side of the road. Maria’s black-on-black body is a nod to Maria Martinez’s signature pottery glazes (seen in this exhibition). Simpson, an artist and car mechanic, restored the car herself. In the American Southwest, lowriding is a mostly male pastime, associated with seeking out women. Simpson wittily appropriates the typically male pursuit while honoring the legacy of Maria Martinez. Maria, Simpson says, represents how in the “Lowrider Capital” of Española, New Mexico, “. . . cars build identity and create empowerment in disenfranchised peoples.”