Hands Across Aztlan

Posted November 19, 2009 in

In 1969, Chicano activists gathered in Colorado and drafted the Program for El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, which calls on all Chicanos to mobilize and organize in support of their cultural, social, economic and political independence. With this, the 6th annual Chicano art exhibit, the dA invites us to witness some of the art from that continuing movement that is rooted both in the mythical Aztec Promised Land of North America and in the desire to join together Latinos from all countries in the idea that all peoples should live in equality and freedom. Curated by Frank Garcia and Rolo Castillo, the exhibit runs the gamut from flashy Latino pop culture represented by the fiberglass backend of a lowrider to Dan Romero’s exquisite rusted metal sculptures made from farming equipment that remind us of the land worker. There’s a healthy helping of mythology, as well, with dancing skeletons and symbolically exposed organs—most effectively presented in Oscar Magallenes’ stencil on wood Semillas, in which a skeletal fetus serves as an underground seed and sprouts a corn stock from its chest. Crossing into other Latino cultures is what it’s all about, of course, and Andrew Quinones’ Peru Through My Soul guidebook newsprint canvas topped with abstractions in green and black paint is a vibrant divergence from some of the more fiesta-inspired pieces. And you certainly can’t miss the life-sized George W. Bush riding a child’s coin-operated pony machine—galloping off, no doubt, to some fantasy Texas town where Chicanos actually like him.  


“Hands Across Aztlan” at dA Center for the Arts, 252 S. Main St., Pomona, (909) 397-9716; www.dacenter.org. Wed-Sat, noon-4PM; Thurs, noon-9PM. Thru Nov. 27.


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