What is Chicano/a Art?
  • Chicano art, which gained vast popularity after the Chicano Movement in the 1960s, has a variety of definitions and artists who claim it.
  • “(Chicano art) is about being true to ourselves in the most honest and informed sense.” ~ Ralph "Rafas" Lopez, founder of Con Safos Magazine (Lopez)
  • It includes a huge variety of subject matter and mediums, including:
    • Photography, prints, sculptures, paintings, ink and pencil drawings, etc.
  • Popular subject matter of Chicano art includes:
    • Spiritual/religious images, such as santos
    • Holidays (especially Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead)
    • Native American themes and images
    • Various political images
    • Nature (often making certain points about its role in the lives of different ethnic groups)
    • Reflections of identity, heritage, and image
    (Venegas)

Painting:Self-portrait: “Diego and I” by Frida Kahlo
Painting:Self-portrait: “Diego and I” by Frida Kahlo
Art deco portrait: “Woman Grinding Maiz,” by Diego Rivera
Art deco portrait: “Woman Grinding Maiz,” by Diego Rivera
We Art Not A Minority, a mural by Congresso de Artistas Chicanos en Aztlan at the Estrada Courts Housing Project in East Los Angeles, 1978. (Courtesy of chicanoart.org)
We Art Not A Minority, a mural by Congresso de Artistas Chicanos en Aztlan at the Estrada Courts Housing Project in East Los Angeles, 1978. (Courtesy of chicanoart.org)

Sources:

Lopez, Peter. “Chicano Art.” NetworkAztlan.com. 2011. Web. 18 Oct 2011. <http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kjc04>.
Venegas, Sybil. “Chicano/a Art: Contemporary and Aesthetic Visions.” ChicanoArt.com. 2007. Web. 18 Oct 2011. <http://www.chicanoart.org/index2.html>.