de Primavera The
Coming of Spring From September to December of 1989 Samuel Baray worked
on sketches for a suite of prints representing the seasons of the year, i.e.,
Fall, Spring, Winter and Summer. Karen Boccalero, founder and director of
Self Help Graphics*, saw the sketches and encouraged Baray to participate
in the upcoming screen print atelier program. Ultimately two limited edition
prints were produced at SHG: Harvest (Fall) and Advenimiento de Primavera
The Primavera/Spring print clearly shows Baray’s preference for serigraph
printing over other print medias. His preference is due to the fact that serigraph,
like painting, keeps the color on the surface; in contract to press printing,
which “pushes” the color beneath the surface. He feels a serigraph thus allows
for greater color range and depth.
Working at Self Help Graphics afforded the artist the use of a professional
serigraph studio and a master printer. This allowed Baray to increase the
size of the image; thus, giving his image an almost architectural scale. The
use of greenery in the image is riverlike and gives the illusion the Lady
of Spring is floating, or better yet, rising upward.
Baray continues to work in serigraph, but in his most recent work, he has
synthesized the mechanics of serigraph with the more fluid mediums of painting,
pastel and watercolor.
*Self Help Graphics, located in East Los Angeles, has served as a creative
center promoting Chicano art since 1972. Sister Karen Boccalero OSF, founded
SHG to support printmaking as well a other forms of art through workshops,
exhibitions and cultural activities.
Del Barrio Barrio Guardian Angel Samuel Baray’s commitment to limited
edition prints has made his work available to people who might otherwise not
be able to afford an original work of art. Many of his prints have come instant
favorite in the Chicano community in which he works, eg, Virgen, Avrora-El
Primer Milagro Del Dia, Harvest, and most recently Queen of Angels which was
given a special reception at the Latino Committee of the Democratic Convention
2000. Guardia Del Barrio is most certainly in this category of favorites.
To help support Self Help Graphics, Baray donated approximately twenty-five
prints to their annual print sale. Guardia Del Barrio sold out within an hour!
Gardia is a multi-layered colored serigraph whose image was inspired by the
youth of East Los Angeles. E.L. A. is a neighborhood that has served as a
womb, a cradle, and a visual treasure chest in the development of many Chicano
artists. It is colorful, handmade, outrageous, ugly, beautiful, and full of
The youthful guardian angel oversees all of the above. She reigns supreme
under the protection of Quetzal coatl the bird-serpent, Mixcoatl the nomadic
warrior who led the first chichimecs (Mexicanos) into the central plateau
of Mexico, and by Tlaloc the ancient water god of mesoamerica.
The youthful angel looks down at her domain and with her hands she make the
sign of the pyramid, as any chicana/youth might, to claim she is indigenous,
and that she is proud.