Chicana/o Iconography: A Final Assessment by Fonzy Toro
My project focuses on murals from the Chicana/o art movement and the mixing of political and religious institutions. This exhibit is meant to question the eagle and la Virgen de Guadalupe’s relationship with the Chicana/o movement, their historical affiliations with the Latina/o community, and if people attach different meanings to these visuals.
The exhibit itself possesses 3 objects, one slideshow that focuses on images of La Virgen de Guadalupe with the song titled “Ave Maria” by Andrea Bocelli, the second focuses on the portrayals of the eagle figure accompanied by the song “Cesar Chavez” by Los Tigres del Norte.These two particular images appear to play an integral role in many of these murals and utilize a mix of political and religious powers that have lead to the progression of the Chicana/o movement. The last exhibit presents 3 murals where La Virgen de Guadalupe is juxtaposed and integrated with the eagle with no sound at all, here is where I encourage the audience to think about this “mestisaje” this mixture and technique used by artists to make a statement. What are these murals really saying here? Do the images previously examine change in meaning now that they are in the same mural?
In planning my exhibit, I also wanted to show how Chicana/o iconography moves across cities and from artist to artist, focusing on the particular upward movement from the South of San Diego moving north towards the East Side of Los Angeles. In order to accomplish this, I situated the images strategically by placing those murals found in San Diego first followed by those murals found in East Los Angeles second.
Ultimately, the Chicana/o art movement plays on pathos and culture as the root of their foundation. At a glimpse, these images on these Chicana/o murals appear to stand still, but I believe that these symbols are not actually stagnant, their symbolism travels and can be found in various murals in both San Diego and Los Angeles. At a deeper level, they are able to capture people’s attention through their color and storiesAs described in my exhibit, they show how as people migrate, their ideas also travel with them and this allow for various forms of conversations and exchanges to form. These symbols and murals are vessels that can often inspire and allow their viewers to mobilize for change and to grow without forgetting their history and past struggles.
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