San Antonio and Los Angeles are cities that with all their romanticizations are still cities that seemingly purport rigid dichotomies in their histories. The change of demographics allows for the discovery and rediscovery of their own rich culture as seen through new eyes when placed in the context of exhibitions like the McNay Museum’s Estampas de la Raza. The tie between the two cities becomes evident in many of the exhibitions featured artists originating from San Antonio and Los Angeles. Further drawing the connection, many of the prints exhibited were produced in the print studios of Self Help Graphics & Art and Modern Multiples, both based in Los Angeles.
LA-SA is the first exhibition of new and current works from some of San Antonio’s and Los Angeles’ best artists with an emphasis on the artists variety of different styles, mediums and techniques. LA-SA features eight artists, six of which are artists brought together by Estampas de la Raza. While prints are an important part of the artist repertoire, for most of the artistsfeatured in LA-SA, with the exception of Sonia Romero’s sophisticated prints, the print is not the artist’sprimary means of expression. LA-SA gives the participating artistsa forum to exhibit works in their primary mediums while allowing other artiststo exhibit more experimental works. Alex Rubio and Jaime Zacarias’ highly detailed paintings along with the unique paintings of César Martinez will sit aside Vincent Valdez’s Burn and Recuerdo films. The films will be shown simultaneously for the first time as the artist originally intended. Oscar Magallanes‘ work on wood is an example of highly stylized and advanced stenciling techniques. Also it was important to augment the exhibition with San Antonio artist, David “Shek” Vega,who works primarily with aerosol and Los Angeles artist, Hacer,whose impressive works are primarily large scale origami metal sculptures. These artists not only complete the circle of mediums represented but also in representing the ground breaking work being produced by San Antonio and Los Angeles artists.
I was honored to have been asked to create the commemorative poster for the Cesar Chavez National Monument Inauguration as a National Monument. Worked with Paul Chavez, Arturo Rodriguez and my good friend Alfonso Trujillo on getting the design and 10,000 copies of the posters done in a few days. Here is an image of the final poster and some shots from the day. President Obama himself oversaw the ceremony. I volunteered and ended up checking in the VIP. Some people in attendance beside many members of the Chavez family and 7,000 supporters were Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Mayor Marie Lopez, LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and many others. Governor Brown was uninvited. No Joke.
Great video featuring Lyle Williams, curator of works on paper from the McNay Museum of the upcoming print exhibition Estampas de la Raza. My print “…And the Boss Laughs” will be featured in the exhibition and catalog.