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Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte (The…
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Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte (The Mexican American Experience) (edição: 2009)

de Carlos Francisco Jackson (Autor)

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From the Publisher: This is the first book solely dedicated to the history, development, and present-day flowering of Chicana and Chicano visual arts. It offers readers an opportunity to understand and appreciate Chicana/o art from its beginnings in the 1960s, its relationship to the Chicana/o Movement and its leading artists, themes, current directions, and cultural impacts. Although the word "Chicano" once held negative connotations, students-along with civil rights activists and artists-adopted it in the late 1960s in order to reimagine and redefine what it meant to be Mexican American in the United States. Chicanismo is the ideology and spirit behind the Chicano Movement and Chicanismo unites the artists whose work is revealed and celebrated in this book. Jackson's scope is wide. He includes paintings, prints, murals, altars, sculptures, and photographs-and, of course, the artists who created them. Beginning with key influences, he describes the importance of poster and mural art, focusing on the work of the Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada and the significance of Mexican and Cuban talleres (print workshops). He examines the importance of art collectives in the United States, as well as Chicano talleres and community art centers, for the growth of the Chicano art movement. In conclusion, he considers how Chicano art has been presented to the general American public. As Jackson shows, the visual arts have both reflected and created Chicano culture in the United States. For college students-and for all readers who want to learn more about this fascinating subject-his book is an introduction to an art movement with a social conscience.… (mais)
Membro:Elcentro
Título:Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte (The Mexican American Experience)
Autores:Carlos Francisco Jackson (Autor)
Informação:University of Arizona Press (2009), Edition: 1, 256 pages
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Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte (The Mexican American Experience) de Carlos Francisco Jackson

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Mao Tsetung was famously quoted as saying there was no such thing as art for art’s sake, or art detached from politics. In Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte, Carlos Francisco Jackson probes such concepts, as well as their limits.

Social justice-oriented creative expressions have proven a transformative force in many eras, from the Black Arts Movement to the explosion of Mexican-American humanities from the 1940s to 1970s. Jackson’s focal point is the mélange of influences undergirding the Chicana/o spectrum.

Jackson briskly relates the story of the Mexican-American civil rights struggle and the elements giving rise to the Chicana/o arts movement. The storytelling is rich and detailed, as Jackson traverses points that go beyond the Southwestern United States for which the activism was often criticized in basing its references. Jackson talks about the Zoot Suit Riots as easily as he conveys the fieldhand struggles based around the United Farm Workers and the comradeship with Third World liberation clashes, all of which are presented visually in a variety of forms.

As it is written, Chicana and Chicano Art is more about the stories behind the art than the art itself. Jackson’s prose sets up plenty of stunning pieces, certainly, and the book presents dozens of the most memorable images from what came to be known as El Movimiento. However, the book is not a coffee table book or as artistically arresting as something like Sam Durant’s Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. Regardless, it is far better to read Jackson for his telling of history, from which the art is truly grown.

The Chicana/o arts story is, like the Black Arts Movement, inherently linked to cultural aspirations of a particular place in time. However, unlike the Black Arts Movement, the tale Jackson tells is one of artists not nearly as focused on building dual institutions, but rather carving out a space where respect and recognition are demanded. By this telling, readers also get a sense of one of the Mexican-American civil rights movement’s greatest tensions, though it really is not written about in this book.

Directly, the political predicament continually haunting the political arts, and by extension the Chicana/o movement, is one of results. Is the objective of the Chicana/o movement to, as Cesar Chavez and others articulated, ensure those of Latin American extraction were equals to whites and acculturated into America; or is the goal, as Reies Lopez Tijerina came to embody, asserting power outside of conventions in a quest for Chicanas/os to be seen as a distinct people with human rights beyond those afforded within American frameworks? Both sets of ideals are visually represented in Chicana and Chicano Art. Although there is never really an agreed upon vision, the embers lit by Tijerina seem to only smolder, as revolutionary and internationalist pretensions within the Chicana/o arts discipline remain promises unfulfilled.

Whether art can be separated from politics is still up for discussion. However, one almost cannot cleave Chicana/o arts from politics, even if the propositions remain open. Jackson’s Chicana and Chicano Arts gives a glimpse at that.

Reviewed by Ernesto Aguilar ( )
  PoliticalMediaReview | Aug 4, 2009 |
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From the Publisher: This is the first book solely dedicated to the history, development, and present-day flowering of Chicana and Chicano visual arts. It offers readers an opportunity to understand and appreciate Chicana/o art from its beginnings in the 1960s, its relationship to the Chicana/o Movement and its leading artists, themes, current directions, and cultural impacts. Although the word "Chicano" once held negative connotations, students-along with civil rights activists and artists-adopted it in the late 1960s in order to reimagine and redefine what it meant to be Mexican American in the United States. Chicanismo is the ideology and spirit behind the Chicano Movement and Chicanismo unites the artists whose work is revealed and celebrated in this book. Jackson's scope is wide. He includes paintings, prints, murals, altars, sculptures, and photographs-and, of course, the artists who created them. Beginning with key influences, he describes the importance of poster and mural art, focusing on the work of the Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada and the significance of Mexican and Cuban talleres (print workshops). He examines the importance of art collectives in the United States, as well as Chicano talleres and community art centers, for the growth of the Chicano art movement. In conclusion, he considers how Chicano art has been presented to the general American public. As Jackson shows, the visual arts have both reflected and created Chicano culture in the United States. For college students-and for all readers who want to learn more about this fascinating subject-his book is an introduction to an art movement with a social conscience.

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