For the Los Angeles sister blog, María Margarita López went to the March opening of “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective" at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The stories of Latino history are Los Angeles centric, but the impact of this mural's history belongs to the Southwest. The story was first posted at viewfromaloft on March 10.
By María Margarita López
As a Girl Scout walking through the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Barbara Carrasco never dreamed her work would one day grace its walls.
After 25 years of being stored away, Carrasco’s controversial 1981 mural, “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective,” will be on view in Los Angeles for the second time. It was a highlight of “¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Siege,” co-curated by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the California Historical Society as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. It hung in Union Station.
This time it will be featured at the Natural History Museum’s (NHMLA) for “Sin Censura: A Mural Remembers L.A.” It runs from March 9 through August 18, 2018.
Carrasco stood mid-room, absorbing the impact of her mural displayed as she had never seen it before, wrapped around three walls giving it a more intimate feel. She is excited how the piece is uncensored and and it can be seen at the institution that helped make the mural possible in the first place. The late NHMLA curator William Mason helped Carrasco when she first researched subjects in the vignette, and loaned her photographs for source material. Much of the imagery was used in the final work. “This was my chance to show what I wish was in the history books.” said Carrasco.
It was the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the same agency that commissioned it in the first place, that objected to fourteen of the depicted scenes. Some of those stories do not place the city of Los Angeles or the CRA in the best light. Both had histories of injustice in under served communities. These are the L.A. stories you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
“As she grew older she became more aware of her surroundings and really started to open up her eyes regarding the injustices that surrounded her and our communities and many of us growing up.” said Supervisor Hilda Solis of the artist. “I think her art has a way in which she shared those lived experiences meanwhile drawing attention to problems in our society. Barbara is a community champion.”
Supervisor Solis went on to suggest that NHMLA is the best place to give this mural a permanent home.
A highlight of the exhibition is the 70-inch digital touchscreen that details the people, places and events in each of the vignettes. From an image of Juan Francisco Reyes, LA’s first black mayor, to the lynching of 20 Chinese residents to memories of Grand Central Market, Luis Valdez’s “Zoot Suit," and a group portrait tribute to LA that includes Dolores Huerta, Jane Fonda, Ricardo Montalban, Martin Sheen, Rick James and other artists, activists and politicians.
The interactive touchscreen gives full details of people and place in English and Spanish.
Los Angeles has many untold stories. This mural beautifully depicts Los Angeles’s past, and present with a nod to the future, also including portraits of the interns who helped make the mural. It’s a history lesson worth visiting.
María Margarita López has covered arts and performances for viewfromaloft since 2011. On behalf of viewfromaloft, her photos have also appeared at KCET.org, the LATimes, and Hyperallergic. As a film producer, she is co-founder of AjuuaEntertainment, plus consulted and produced media under her company ValorFilms since 2005.
Photo and captions by Nancy Good.
"As though launching a fiery javelin, The Man appears to fight the very fire that threatens to consume him," writes photographer Nancy Good, who captured these images at Burning Man, Nevada's Black Rock Desert dreamlike event. This year artists were encouraged to explore the similarities between 15th-century Florence and the festival, now in its 30th year.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Erin Cosgrove’s Urfathrer Adams has eyes on a UNLV history of photography class at the Marjorie Barrick Museum. It is the first week of the 2016 fall semester and the current exhibition, FIVE, closes September 10. The gallery was quickly put to use as an art laboratory. It helps to hear about the work, and it becomes a refresher how to rethink art works, said Lauren Vaccaro, a senior majoring in Art History. “It’s also good to hear how others interpret art.”
The Las Vegas artist who did the life-size, nude statues of Trump says more will be created. He owns the mold. I Las Vegas Review Journal
SAVED MURAL: In Los Angeles, Yreina Cervantez's ‘La Ofrenda’ (1990) has been restored I SPARC
TACO PARTY: Frankly, Trump's presidential campaign can easily prompted a weekly Link + Ink dedicated to all the commentary. Below are just two from the current batch responding to Marco Gutierrez, the founder of Latinos for Trump who warned that mobile food is a threat from an "imposing" culture I NYTimes
“In the days when black-and-white photography reigned, professional colorists took on the task of creating technicolor views by meticulously painting pictures by hand.” From "When Photographs Were Colored By Hand" via Hyperallergic.
It's about time. Robert Williams, founder of Juxtapoz Magazine, has a solo show. It will be in his hometown in New Mexico, at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Sante Fe.
No beard for Bard? Shakespeare's portrait to be cleaned. May cost the playwright his facial hair, reports Daily Mail
Frieze ends its five-part series "looking back at the most significant exhibitions from the past 25 years"
Vulture sent comedian Eric André to the streets to critique New York City's public art.
Artsy offers four walking tours of New York's public art organized by neighborhood.
The NYTimes plans to kill regional art coverage.
3D is Banksy, says investigative journalist Craig Williams, who tracked a fw patterns. He makes a compelling argument that Robert “3D” Del Naja, the founding member of Massive Attack, is the elusive graffiti artist Banksy. I Daily Telegraph
Greg Gossel "I Need You!" Silkscreen ink, enamel, acrylic, and collage on canvas 65" x 57"
Arts Writer Liz Ohanesian on Corey Helford Gallery's 10th-anniversary show in Los Angeles. "It isn't a typical gallery exhibit. Think of this more like a museum exhibition, a mazelike journey through a cavernous space filled with an almost overwhelming amount of art." The show runs until September 24 I LA Weekly
Arts Council Malta is the government agency that uses street art as a teaching point, reports the NYTimes. "Most cities around the world denounce, or grudgingly tolerate, painting on public property. But on the Mediterranean island of Malta, the process is encouraged." I NYTimes
"Smartly focused and radically open-ended, the exhibition brings together a fascinating mass of data that incites — and inspires — visitors to think for themselves," writes David Pagel in "Imaginative show at the Center for Land Use Interpretation looks at how we memorialize our presidents" at the LA Times.
“Galleries find me on Instagram,” says artist Dan Lam. “They reach out to me and they ask to be a part of shows. It’s crazy. Like, you know there’s all these books out with information about how artist can make it or whatever and it doesn’t even touch on how Instagram needs to be a very crucial part of your strategy.” Art and Seek
Tony Hsieh hesitated during early negotiations for Big Rig Jig, according to a report by Kristy Totten in the Las Vegas Weekly one year ago. "Then he received this email, allegedly written by Banksy: 'I feel strongly Big Rig Jig is probably the first sculptural masterpiece of the post-industrial age and we want to exhibit it accordingly. Importance is measured in influence, and you can never be sure, but I’m confident in 20 years time Big Rig Jig will be cited by a whole new generation of artists as a touchstone in modern sculpture. It should be in every textbook of art history that covers this age and this won’t happen from photos at Burning Man alone.' "