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Chicana Art Post-Chicano Movement

HST 206 presentation of paper

Caroline Paredes

on 4 May 2010

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Transcript of Chicana Art Post-Chicano Movement

Examining Chicana Art as an effective instrument for the administration of Feminist and Chicano Political Ideals
thesIs The Chicano Art Movement allowed Chicanas to contribute substantially to the preservation and dissemination of Chicano political principles beyond Oropeza’s end to the Chicano Movement and also served as a significant and influencing exhibition of Chicana feminist ideals. The feminist Chicano Movement offered women “hope for a generation raised within discrimination and conflict. It created new models and a new sense of their potential as artists” It stirred woman to realize the initially male dominated Chicano Art Movement was problematic, and inspired the creation of the first female exclusive art coalition titled “Las Mujeres Muralistas”. This group, formed in 1973, aimed at providing Chicana artists a support structure and was largely based around the Chicano Movement’s aim of producing art which was “collective, publically accessible, and socially committed”. Patricia Rodriguez, one of Las Mujeres Muralists four founders, describes their members as being “more Chicana than women”, and speaking on behalf of Mujeres Muralists, she is hopeful that “our murals speak for our people, and of the Chicano struggle.” Mujeres Muralistas Portion of "Latinoamerica" 1974 In an interview, Ester Hernandez acknowledges the over representation of woman as the passive Aztec princess or Adelita in the male dominated mural movement of the early 1970's.
For Mujeres Muralistas however, the group wanted to "go in another direction" with their portrayal woman
In "Latinoamerica" for example, woman play a central role in the mural and many are painted and depicted in very androgenous manners (note the woman with the machete)
"Latinoamerica" also includes images and persons taken from ancient Mesoamerican cultures such as the inclusion of a mask of the Aztec Earth Monster Tlaltecuhtli, and a Mayan glyph. This act of Chicanos proudly displaying a connection to their original Indian roots is also widely observed in the Chicano Movement, especially when speaking of their rightful ownership of the land they call Aztlan "Rhomboidal Parallelogram" 1975 In this piece Mujeres Muralistias also strove to depict woman in non-traditional settings as well as traditional
Ester Hernandes painted a female farmworker, Consuelo Mendez painted a female factory worker
However, although Mujeres Muralistas did include some traces of Chicano Movement ideals, it was often criticized for not being political enough.
Incidentally, Consuelo Mendez left the group in order to "portray images that were less cultural and more political"
Ester Hernandez also went on to create some of the most politically infused and popular Chicana art pieces of this time period Ester Hernandez Yolanda M. Lopez Chicana artist Yolanda M. Lopez also “upheld the Marxist ideologies of el Movimiento that focused on class and worker solidarity as a central to liberation and defended the indigenista and mestizo values of Chicanismo which proudly affirmed a racially inscribed identity of resistance”.
In some of Lopez’s works, we see a very blatant political overtone, such as her 1982 poster titled "Who’s the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?"
Lopez created this poster in response to Carter’s policy on immigration, which called for more stringent regulations on United States immigration laws. This piece by Lopez “expresses the Chicano Movement sentiment that Mexicans and Mexican Americans are indigenous to the Americans and have greater cause to be represented.” This along with the inclusion of the Aztec embellishments and a message which was meant to be highly visible and simple to comprehend, we see Lopez’s commitment to the Chicano Movement’s ideals and preferences when it comes to what Chicano art should include and how it should be displayed. Barbara Carrasco Barbara Carrasco, a Texas native who grew up in Los Angeles, is a Chicana artist who also took the liberty of expressing political Chicano themes in some of her artwork. Her 1978 Lithograph Pregnant Woman in a Ball of Yarn, for example, has commonly been interpreted as a piece depicting the atrocities of female forced sterilization, including the forced sterilization of Chicana women. Carrasco also makes a strong feminist statement in this piece by depicting a woman being bound and enslaved by female gender roles "L.A. History- A Mexican Perspective" In 1981, Carrasco was commissioned by the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (LA/CRA) to paint a mural on the side of McDonalds in downtown Los Angeles. What Carrasco presented to the CRA was a boldly accurate historical depiction of Los Angeles history, depicting images of “individuals that had occurred as a result of political treachery, inter-cultural conflict, economic instability, and social malaise” (i.e. image of last slave of Los Angeles, Japanese girl entering internment camp).
Due to her particular background, Hernandez has been known to repeatedly depict issues pertaining to both the farmworker and also of the indigenous people of Mesoamerica, both of which being key issues in the Chicano Movement as well. Hernandez responds to the contamination of drinking water by agricultural pesticides in the area of her childhood home in her highly publicized 1981 Sun Mad.

Hernandez describes her inspiration for the creation of Sun Mad as rising out of her anger and worry for the well being of herself, her family, and her community. It was created as homage to all those farmworkers who have fallen ill or passed on due to complications arising from agricultural contamination In Libertad, Hernandez is shown chiseling away at the Statue of Liberty, an undoubtedly iconic American image, to reveal a Mayan stele on a base reading “Aztlan”. In this piece Hernandez is revealing the true base of the United States, one that was synonymous with the destruction of countless indigenous peoples to make room for the new face of America. By choosing to inscribe the word “Aztlan” on the statues base, Hernandez reproduces the Chicano claim of original and historic ownership of much of the southwest United States. "La Virgen de Guadalupe defendiendo Chicano Rights" 1976 Hernandez's version of the iconic portrayal VdeG as that of a passive and submissive individual as a powerful member of society actively defending Chicano rights. Lopez's takes on the iconic VdeG. Like Ester's, these posters serve Chicana feminist ideologies in that they attempt to break through the traditional role of Chicana woman as passive and subserviant to men and place them in more active and visual places in society Origins Esters little girl image, UFW support
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