16 April 2013
Chicano Art Movement
As artists began to actively participate in the efforts to redress the plight of Mexicans in the United States, there emerged a new iconography and symbolic language which not only articulated the movement, but became the core of a Chicano cultural renaissance. (Venegas) Chicano Art developed in the 1960s during the political eruption of the civil rights movements in the United States. This renaissance in the arts was in fact the birth and flowering of a Chicano world view or Chicano aesthetic and because of its close alliance with and commitment to social change and political activism it is known today as the Chicano Art Movement. From the ranks of this movement came "artists, poets and actors who collectively generated a cultural renaissance and whose work played a key role in creating the ideology of the Chicano movement." (Venegas) JUST ANOTHER POSTER? - Chicano Graphic Arts in California, is the first exhibition and book that explores the poster art created by dozens of Chicano artists in California from the late 1960s to the present. I am honored to be among the artists included in this historic collection. Graphic art has played a key role in El Movimiento(the Chicano civil rights movement), and the poster has been used to educate, agitate, and organize Americans of Mexican descent. One could even say that political awareness and social activism grew out of the Chicano arts movement. Chicano art has had many influences. Certainly Mexican artists like José Guadalupe Posada, Frida Kahlo, and David Siqueiros have had their effect, but so have American comic books, Cuban political posters, and spray-painted barrio calligraphy. (Vallen) Chicano poster art became a means to help preserve and promote a culture largely ignored by the dominant Eurocentric society of the United States. Artists glorified Aztec Gods, Mexican revolutionaries, the Virgin de Guadalupe, immigrant farm...