Ignacio Gómez

I live in two worlds, creating art to support a family and creating art to give support to my community, the Latino community.

In 1966, while in the army, I painted my first mural. The mural displayed Alta California and its Mexican pioneers. My second was a mural of George Washington on his horse. At night, I painted the Virgin of Guadalupe on helmets for the Latino soldiers going to Vietnam. On weekends, I painted movie stars on butcher paper for the Anglo officers also going to Vietnam.

I still live in two worlds: one where I illustrate Steven Spielberg, another where I paint Edward James Olmos; one where I illustrate John Paul Jones, another where I paint Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Eugene Obregón: one where I illustrate Steve Jobs, another where I paint César Chávez.

In my two worlds, one puts food on the table while the other offers a greater nourishment to my life, where I can proudly create powerful images of Latinos—on a quest for higher education, becoming professionals, and accomplishing great things. In this world is where my satisfaction has always been as a Chicano artist.