The space of
myth my work represents relies on a pop sensibility that taps Chicano and
mainstream culture, conveying meaning through humor. I derive inspiration
from my Texas Mexican culture and Mexican heritage. In my work I like to explore
dynamics combining representational and symbolic images with abstraction.
My paintings incorporate contemporary cultural icons and pre-Hispanic mythological
symbols, merging past with present as a connection to the future.
Chile epitomizes a tio typeeveryone knows one, the one with
a Ph.D. in b.s. who was always making you laugh with his jokes and making
smile with a dollar. This character was inspired by the work of legendary
folklorist and scholar Don Americo Paredes. I first created this character
on illustration board using airbrush, expressly for the cover of Paredes
Uncle Remus con Chile (Arte Públio Press, 1993), a collection of Mexican
and Texas-Mexican jokes from the Lower Grande Valley and other areas. Señor
Chile is juguetón, burlista, grosero, witty and clever--like
the anonymous narrators of chistes collected by Paredes. Hes an urbane
vato with a 50s sensibility and the epitome of pachuco cool. His character
took on a larger than life form while I was painting him on the large canvas.
When Id stray away from work, el vato would throw me these little chiflidos,
and I could hear him nudging me, Ey, ese, when you gonna finish me,
man? Ey, ese, ponle. Oralé.
and Revolution (not always what it seems), points to the power of
image (representation of reality) vs. the power of reality. The allusion is
to French artist René Magrittes famous piece, This is not
a pipe, which inspired my work. The split image shows a pipe on the
rightnot a real pipe, just a painting of a pipe. But when juxtaposed,
with an image, on the left, of a commando in a black ski mask, representing
the pipe smoking Comandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista struggle in Chiapas,
Mexico -- you have a revolution. Comandante Marcos is real, his pipe is real,
the Revolution is real.