Who Gets To Call It Chicano Art?
(Chicano Chicana Chican@ Chicanx Xicanx Xicano Xicana)
Andres Alvarez, Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Raffa Chavez, Amy Diaz, Sandi Escobar, Maceo Montoya, Alejandra Perez, Abel Rodriguez and Mike Rodriguez
Tras las puertas del Camino Real - (behind closed doors of the Camino Real)
Cast Bronze, patina, wood, metal, 2017
Solidarity With Standing Rock
Screen Print, 2016
Shadow's Implicit Desire for Light
Silkscreen on glass, bud blossom, thread and waxed orange, 6 x 2.5 ft, 2016
When you say, “Chicano,” you have something in mind. It is no secret that “Chicano” carries implicit meanings. But, who is a Chicano? Is a Chicano a Mexican born in the United States or throughout the western hemisphere? Murdered LA Times Journalist Ruben Salazar also alluded to the question in his 1970 Los Angeles Times article “Who Is a Chicano? And What Is It the Chicanos Want?” to which he replied, “A Chicano is a Mexican American with a non-Anglo image of himself.”
If Chicano is more than a biological category, is it an idea based on ideology that is not dependent on bloodlines or ancestry, allowing any person to consider themselves Chicano so long as they are down with “La Causa”? If there are abundant interpretations of the word Chicano, where does that leave “Chicano Art”? These are uncomfortable questions, but when you say Chicano, you have something in mind.
Who Gets To Call It Chicano Art? attempts to explore and negotiate the diversity of artwork from mediums, and modes to genres, made by artists who consider themselves Chicanos/as in order to spark conversations, arguments, consciousness-raising, outcry and collaboration. Maybe Chicano Art is just as complex, if not more, than the actual word “Chicano.”