Chicana/o Iconography in San Diego and East Los Angeles Murals by Fonzy Toro
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. I want viewers to understand each image’s individual meaning and to examine how they change or stay the same when they are juxtaposed in a mural. 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 Virgin of Guadalupe often times represents an image of peace and care while the eagle has come to be symbolic of the United Farm Workers.
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 stories. My project shows 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.
The final object presents three murals where La Virgen de Guadalupe and the Eagle are integrated and juxtaposed. It does not have any music attached to it so that the audience can take control and form their own ideas and understandings of the “mestizaje” (mix) of political and religious iconography found in the Chicana/o movement. Instead of focusing on religious iconography or on political iconography, these murals integrate both institutions creating a new set of ideas. The murals presented hail from both San Diego and East Los Angeles
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