Week 8: Mexican Museum

September 6th, 2013

Maricruz Gutierrez ’14 Black Fellow in Chicano Art

Well being my last week of my fellowship, I only did artist interviews in Los Angeles. I became more independent as I finished my internship with the Mexican Museum but still continue with my research in Chicano/a art. Even though I would only stay less than a week, I had a busy schedule. Even though I used public transportation in San Francisco, I decided to use a Zip car to make sure I was punctual to every interview.  I do have to say that managing my interviews in Los Angeles brought the best of me since I had to strategize routes, reservations, and setting up technology equipment. While there, I was able to have lunch with Dali Cao ’09 & have Cornell bonding time! She gave me great input of her experience after Cornell College and her recent residence at Pasadena, California. From being on my own most of the time, it felt great to talk to another Cornellian about things.

I was able to meet with Chicano/a artists such as Judy Baca, David Botello, Wayne Healy-Alaniz, Joe Bravo, Judithe Hernandez, and Frank Romero. One particular artist that I found interesting with his use of work was Joe Bravo, who uses tortillas as another canvas! He is also a muralist that participated in painting the Great Wall with Judy Baca a few years ago. It is the world’s longest mural! I had the opportunity to visit the mural.  He mainly does portraits of people on the tortilla which can extend to a large size. He uses a particular application on the tortilla so it will not deteriorate as the years go by. I think his oldest has been ten years or so. He is not the only artist that does tortilla art. In a way, the artist brings a stronger link to the indigenous culture by having the tortilla that is a symbol of life. The painting on the tortilla serves as an apparition to the artwork. Apparitions have been able to appear on cars, trees, windows, tortillas, etc.  One work that is able to explain the concept of apparition and cultural heritage is his painting of Virgen of Guadalupe on a tortilla. Two powerful items that pertain in Chicano art.

From being inside the museum working on a particular exhibition to catching the bus to go meet an artist was a full-in-motion fellowship. Two separate activities with one objective in mind, to familiarize and gain practice in the field.

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