5 Chicano Art Projects in San Diego that are Not Safe For Work

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The first time I heard of Chicano art was in a history class where we were talking about the impact of the Mexican Revolution on Mexican-Americans. The professor mentioned it and made passing reference to a famous piece by David Alfaro Siqueiros, “The Fight Between Love and Hatred.” I was fascinated. What was this art that told stories from my culture?

I discovered the work of other artists — some from Mexico, others from here in the United States. It didn’t take me long to realize that Chicano art was not popular with many people near my hometown in New Mexico. Some felt it was too controversial — even subversive — for their tastes.

It’s not just in New Mexico where you’ll find controversy over Chicano art. In San Diego, there is a museum called Casa de la Raza that showcases Chicano art inside its walls. Not everyone appreciates the provocative nature of these pieces — or the fact they are not always deemed “safe for work.”

Here are five Chicano art projects in San Diego that may not be safe for work.

A blog about the more edgy and provocative side of Chicano art.

“Chicano” is a term used to describe an American of Mexican descent. “Chicano Art” is the name given to the artistic movement and genre that emerged from the Chicano Movement in the early 1970’s. This movement was a response to what many saw as a lack of diversity within the arts, often being overlooked for people of color, women and artists with disabilities.

Tattooing has been around for thousands of years. It has evolved from simple tribal markings to a form of art that has branched out into other forms such as modern and traditional Japanese styles, Polynesian, Samoan, Hawaiian and American traditional.  It is not uncommon to see tattooing in these cultures but it certainly is rare to see them on people who may not be part of these cultures.

Tattooing has risen in popularity over the past decade or so; some would say it’s because of celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and David Beckham being seen with tattoos while others say it’s just another form of self expression; however, there is no doubt that it’s here to stay!

During my search I found that there are several Chicano artists who

The Chicano art movement has been around for decades, and its artists have received numerous accolades. However, there are still more Chicano artists whose work is not as well known. This blog is designed to share the work of those artists whose work might be seen as too risqué for the mainstream art world.

Describing the art on this website as risqué is not meant to be derogatory in any way. Some of these projects could be described as provocative, but that’s because they’re meant to make you think about something other than what your typical Chicano artist would depict. If you’re interested in alternative views on Chicano art, or if you just want to see some very unique pieces of artwork, check out the five Chicano art projects below that are not safe for work.

For the past few years, I’ve been doing a series of Chicano art projects in San Diego. I don’t mean my own art projects, but projects that involve working with other artists, mostly in public spaces.

Sometimes this sort of work is illegal: for instance, when we get arrested on the job. Sometimes it’s legal but still controversial: for instance, when we put up a huge mural in an area with a lot of opposition to large murals. And sometimes it’s legal and uncontroversial: for instance, when we put up smaller murals in places where the owners are glad to see them.

Taken together, these projects are starting to have an effect on the overall culture of Chicano art in San Diego. If you’re not familiar with it yet, here is a list of five Chicano art projects that you might find interesting.

Chicano Art projects in San Diego, sometimes referred to as “street art,” are found throughout the city. But some of them are more provocative than others and may not be suitable for younger viewers.

These Chicano Art projects are found in the following locations:

Vista Murals (between 4th and 5th Avenues)

The murals at the Vista Murals at the corner of 4th and C Streets in downtown San Diego were created by Mexican-American artist Enrique Chagoya as part of a project he was commissioned to do in 1998. Chagoya was born in Mexico but grew up in Chicago, IL. He is known for his mosaic style that incorporates Mexican folk art, pre-Columbian imagery and Catholic icons. This mural depicts a man reading from a book while the earth is being formed behind him. The mission of this mural project was to depict the history of Latinos in California.

‘Poetry on a Mural’ is located next to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan and was created by artist Mario Torero III.  This mural features symbols and images used by Chicano activists during the Brown Berets movement during the 1960’s.  It also contains quotes by Mexican American poets such as Juanita Lopez

“I can say that they have a lot of courage and they are very brave to be able to show their work, because there are many people who don’t understand the message of Chicano art,” said Bernal.

Tijuana artist Francisco Amighetti had his work splashed on San Diego businesses as an act of vandalism. The artist said he considers it a piece of art, which he hopes will bring attention to social issues.

“My idea was to put them in places where people didn’t expect to see them,” Amighetti said. “Places where kids and teenagers like to go, so they would see it.”

His artwork was later removed by the businesses and law enforcement officials.

La Raza de Bronze (The Bronze Race) was an artistic collective founded in 1966 by San Diego State University art students. The group challenged the dominant Anglo culture and its institutions, questioning their legitimacy and the benefits they delivered to the Chicano community.

The collective used themes from Aztec and Mayan mythology, the Mexican Revolution, and Latin American Communist leaders Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to express a new vision of Chicano identity.

The artwork created by members of La Raza de Bronze won acceptance into the mainstream as Chicano art evolved into a pluralistic genre. But not all Chicano artists were ready to give up their social activism, and a younger generation soon emerged that sought a more radical approach.

In the early 1970s three artists in San Diego began working together to create social change through the visual arts: Judy Baca, Patssi Valdez, and Carlos Cortes. Their projects focused on issues of police brutality, prison conditions, and political prisoners in Mexico.

Their first collaboration was a mural on Chicano history for the county courthouse in downtown San Diego. After that success they organized a group exhibition called “La Raza” at the San Diego Museum of Art (now Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego). The exhibition featured work

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