Posted By Art OnLine on May 15, 2017 |
Chicano art never really went out of style in California; it was born during the political foment of the 1960s and ’70s, and it’s bubbled along since then for decades. Now there’s a new wave of the genre, one that’s taken on a fiercer political edge since November.
In LA, for example, there’s a group show opening called “Art As Resistance: Paintings in Protest to a Trump Presidency.” It’s the brainchild of Eric Almanza, a figurative painter and high school art teacher. Almanza’s contribution to the show is the latest in a series of oil paintings he’s produced depicting the border wall with Mexico. It shows the wall on fire and graffitied with the words “f – – – your wall” next to a curious symbol: a circular dream catcher with a triangle in the center that looks a bit like the “Triforce” from the Japanese video game series Legend of Zelda. “Because every great resistance needs some kind of logo,” Almanza says. He calls the painting With This Fire, a Rebellion Will Rise.
Almanza is one of a growing number of Chicano artists responding to Trump administration efforts to peel back civil rights enforcement and crack down on illegal immigration, with a heavy emphasis on Latino immigration. “About four years ago, I started working on this narrative of this post-apocalyptic, 21st century society,” Almanza says. “I always imagined it would take place 50 years from now, but it almost seems like time has fast-forwarded.”