Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Latino Phase

The California Heritage Museum is currently hosting an exhibit on Mexican Calendar Girls -- or how post-revolution Mexico came up of the idea of portraying racy pin-ups in elaborate settings and costumes, as a way to sell products while prompting nostalgia and nationalistic pride. Though small, the exhibit shows the vast array of artists' styles -- from the historic to the folkloric; from Inca influences to Modernism or Constructivism; from naive to Hollywood.
Meanwhile, LACMA presents Phantom Sigthings: Art After the Chicano Movement -- a tribute to the "phantom" (i.e., largely unrecognized) Chicano culture in the U.S. Though also small, the show displays a rich variety of visions on what it means to be "post-Chicano," blending historical context with works from emerging artists from across the U.S. Reviews in LAWeekly and Southwest Art.
To continue on the Chicano theme, Latinos in Lotusland (a collection of stories by Latino writers in L.A.) is a must read. And Lula in Santa Monica is worth a visit for its ambiance, good Mexican food, and killer margaritas (the gringa with long hair below is the owner.)illustrations: 1-3 scans from Mexican Calendar Girls book; 4&6 Julio Cesar Morales & Carlee Fernandez at LACMA; 5 Margerita Cabrera at LACMA via flickr; 7/8 Lula photos LA Frog