Born in Colorado, Dolores Guerrero (who has sometimes been known professionally as Guerrero-Cruz and as Guerrero-Torres) grew up in East Los Angeles and became committed early on to both the Chicana/o and feminist movements. She studied art at California State University, Los Angeles, and while a student there began her long association with Self-Help Graphics. While pursuing her education at the University of California, Davis, she continued her screen printing activities with the RCAF in Sacramento. She transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1977, and graduated a year later while simultaneously working with the Public Art Center of Highland Park. She supplemented her art education with the study of graphic design at Los Angeles Community College and the Otis-Parsons School of Design. In 1984 Guerrero was invited back to Self-Help Graphics and continued her association there for years, working as Sister Karen Boccalero’s assistant and establishing the annual Day of the Dead celebrations. She also became involved in public art, working with students to create several murals in the Los Angeles area. In 1996, while teaching a screen-printing class at Pasadena City College, she recognized the scarcity of schools teaching that craft. The result was the Canela Studio and Screen Print School, which she and partner Juan Gómez opened in January 1999.

In Jugo de naraja (Orange juice), Guerrero uses bright red and orange offset by dark blue and intense green to grab the viewer's atention and impart a message of passion and rage. A red, snarling wolf is set in front of what appears at first glance to be an orange moon. Upon further examination, we can see that the sphere is actually a giant orange, evidence by the navel at the top of the image. The orange and the palm leaf behind the wolf imply that the picture refers to California and the fruit industry. Its title, Jugo de naraja, further supports the interpretation. The dark sky gives a sense of foreboding, and the snarling wolf suggests danger that a predator threatens the farmworks who pick the fruit It could also represent a deep, seething anger at a system that has long profited by subjugating workers.

About Self Help Graphics

Jugo de Naranja
1994 | Serigraph | 26"x38" |
Edition of 58
Dolores Guerrero
1997 | Serigraph | 39.5"x27.25" Edition of 58