In my primary photographic practice which spanned the years1972 - 1988 I have worked to present a contemporary vision of primarily Chicanx/Latinx subjects to break from constraining stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium to achieve this goal. I began photographing my Chicanx/Latinx friends as a way to challenge our erasure and stereotyping from the dominant racist society as well as to challenge the sexism within my own culture. The beginning of my photography was a personal focus on self-portraiture and portraiture. I was intent on developing an identity as a Chicana and as an artist that was empowered, unique, and glamorous, counter to everything I was told to be, docile, silent and invisible. I began this by doing performative self-portraits in photo booths and by making photocollages where I used drawing and written language to express my ideas. My portraiture from the 1970’s and 80’s focused on my friends in the underground club/Punk scene which also included non-Chicanx/Latinx people. I wanted to capture the beauty and uniqueness of my friends who were not visible in the mainstream and whom were seen as outsiders in the Chicanx/Latinx community because of how they dressed, their sexual orientation or unconventionality.
Victor and Cyclona
Black and white hand colored photograph on mural paper
32 1/4”H x 46”W
AltaMed Art Collection
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