December 5, 2001

Subject: Re: AztlanNet: Re: Fwd: Pinta Panos -- Art Installation by JAAguirre
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 02:00:28 -0800
From: cecelia <>
Organization: Aztecanet Internet Services
References: 1

I think there was a condemnation of the art (electronic collage, which fits the category in my opinion) in Santa Fe because of the view the local people held toward the museum and what they choose to exhibit, which a lot of them considered offended their sensibilities in terms of their religious beliefs.

I think that the people in L.A. are more diverse and I would be surprised to see Ave. 50 picketed for this installation or to see eyebrows raised more than just slightly if this was on display.

You do raise some good points: "Is it folk art or just plain art?" During early stages of the Black Power movement and the time when the Black Panther Party was very active I visited Soledad Prison and saw some of the art that the prisoners had created and were selling. I was a child at the time but I could appreciate the beauty of the work, much of it was of nude black women (mujeres encueradas/empelotas). There were also a lot of "Big Eyed Kids" paintings which were popular for awhile.

I thought about those images the first time I heard the term Prison Folk Art and I felt like there were some of both, folk art and fine art and I guess it boils down to where you draw the line. I consider folk art something more along the line of Tole painting (I saw some of the Big Eyed Kids in that genre, not the nudes) but then I don't much identify with the term and not being very knowledgeable on the distinction I hesitate to even throw that out there. Then there is the whole thing about Paño art, ink work done on paños (white handkerchiefs) which never seemed to catch on with the exception of families and loved ones who received them from prisoners.

Although I have heard that there are collectors out there seeking them I have only come across one.

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on the "exploitation angle" although you demurred for the moment in this post.

I'm not sure what it is that we are looking at but I will be there for the reception to find out and I hope, Manuel, that you will too. There appears to be some interest there for you.




Subject: Fwd: AztlanNet: Re: chamacas en pelotas
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 18:34:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Pedro Romero <>

--- jmup2000 <> wrote:
> What Romero forgets is that this "relevant" culture represents only part of the Chicano/Hispano experience. Does he think that Hispanos of Nuevo Mexico are the ones who can dictate what is relevant? IMNSHO, no.

If urrutia finds Lopez´s poster relevant, fine, to each his own. I personally thought it was stupid. At issue for me was that the Museum of New Mexico was validating this as relevant and significant and I chose to differ with this cultural gatekeeper´s (the curator´s) notions.

> Hummm. Last time I checked, consummer culture did not include the mass-production of Chicano art, however kitshy it may look.

Sure! Look at the PT Cruiser.

>I am interested in a critical comparison between this particular example of Lopez' work with that of a pinto, where both use similar cultural icons.

La Lupe´s aura does not a girlie poster unmake.

>Who says that both works are examples of "cultural decay?"

I´m not. The pinto´ image isn´t being validated by the Museum of New Mexico.
Was it presented as a "typical Nuevo Mexicano" (con equis, por favor)? It was presented, to my knowledge, as "Chicano" art. And as such, it certainly qualifies.

Here in New Mexico, the cultural apparatus has systematically pigeon-holed Chicano artists as "folk artists". Why Alma Lopez, MFA, a trained artist, would want to join the ranks and show in the Folk Art Museum of NM is beyond me.

> So, it boils down to a question of censorship and who pays the piper.

I believe a publicly-funded museum has a responsibility to educate intelligently. Girlie posters and computers installed upon altars don´t seem too bright to me. The show has come and gone; censorship is not the issue now, the issue of the work´s shaky intellectual merit remains so. Also at issue, one Urrutia ignores, was the near unanimous reaction from Mejicanos here that the piece was a ridicule of their cultural identity.

>To me, if one is willing to protest something because it is shown in a public institution, then one should be just as willing to go against a private gallery. After all, isn't this an issue of "respect?"

In the battle to educate the dominant culture, a private gallery is small potatoes.

Pedro Romero Sedeño MFA