Intaglio Etching. Print.
Michael Martínez 4/16/13
6” x 9”.
This print draws inspiration from barrio placas and graffiti. The poem is called Chingaderas, and reads:
The Inca had store houses
full of goods for the people
by the people.
And I’ve got 18 dollars.
The Maya, Mexica, Chichimeca
Y toda La Raza en México
had food in their bellies,
by the grace of gods.
And I’ve got 18 dollars.
Los Indios en el norte,
nations governed, not by
gold or guns.
And I’ve got 18 dollars.
Ay mi dolor,
Ay mis dolores,
I’ve lost my sight
Truena sobre mojado
And I’ve got 18 dollars
I refuse to draw foods, fabrics, and festivals. The last thing I want to be, as an artist, is some kind of a cultural cheerleader. I’m not trying to represent el pueblo, the people, my people. I can’t because that is unethical, unhealthy, and unfair to myself.
Yes, Mexican culture is absolutely beautiful; yes, Chicano culture is really, really wonderful! But I have no grounds to stand on when it comes to those lovely things, not me, as someone who had the privilege to grow up so far removed from either of them. And further, you think about where that privilege stems— in my case (and many, many others), the privilege of not being named José, Miguel, or Itztli; the privilege of speaking English, and not Spanish, or Nahuatl. My family made a conscience decision to name me and my brother anglo-sounding names, because they knew it would be an advantage. My family assimilated because it was better than being harassed.
It is extremely unfair that Black & Brown people must constantly jump through hoops of authenticity (internally and amongst themselves, too), so that everyone else can dunk a nacho chip and feel alive and festive. ¿Me entiendes, Méndez? Know what I mean, jelly bean?
Thanks for asking such a chewy question ♥
[Documentation of an intaglio etching going into my thesis project]
This series of prints draws inspiration from barrio placas and graffiti. More prints, info, and documentation soon!
Oh my goodnes, 24! Well… Up until my second semester at PNCA, I was suuuper into drawing cars and sci-fi fantasy stuff. I cringe when I think about what I was doing back in ‘09, when I was 18— it was a lot of über masculine bullshit, that was inspired by my rockabilly/psychobilly phase. I literally threw out all of my sketch books from my freshman year. I remember being so proud of this ugly red, heavy, ceramic tail fin lamp that I made at the end of my first semester in art school. I don’t think I even have pictures of it anymore, but if I find any, I might share just so yall can see the horror.
As for #11, the thing I like least about my current art practice is that there is still a lot that I am afraid to do. My art is very personal, but I still think that I fail to really make myself vulnerable. Identity based art is really new to me, I’ve only been truly investigating it for the passed 2 years — so naturally there are still a lot of instances where my work needs to acknowledge my own participation/perpetuation of the systems of power that I am critiquing. And this is what I mean by vulnerability. It is not my intention to point fingers with my art, and I feel that my art sometimes straddles that line, but I am working towards mending this issue.
And finally, number #10. The things I like most about my art practice today, is that it is a very liberating, healing, force in my life (and I want to share that). Identity artwork has a funny way of making you feel more alive; this quote by one of my favorite writers, James Baldwin, sums up my feelings on this new direction in my art and my life: “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
Further, something I really like about my art is that it is well researched; it’s something I am truly passionate about. Several people have told me that my artwork, especially my installation work, has a way of grabbing them and that it’s not preachy.
Goodness, 4’s a crunchy one.
I’d have to say that the thing that defines my artistic style is rasquachismo — interdisciplinary arts, estilo Chicano.
As for #8, I truly can’t say what my favorite art piece of mine is… Porque it’s all my favorite, each piece I make comes together with so much blood and effort. Although I will say that my 4 hour endurance performance piece, Communion, really excites me. Performance is such a terrifyingly exciting realm, and it’s a direction that I would really like to explore further!
(I’ll post full documentation of this later, but here’s a sneak peak)
|—||Gloria Anzaldúa, Making Face/Making Soul: Haciendo Caras — Creative and Cultural Perspectives by Women of Color (via jalwhite)|
I made a zine - wanna help me pass it around?
Curated thoughts and art in a bite-sized format.
Featuring the works of Mark Aguhar & William Pope L.
Includes quotes from intellectuals and cyber-curanderos, of the likes of Jimmy Baldwin, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Gloría Anzaldua.
*special thanks to Lou Diamond Phillips
Please spread this amazing zine, and follow the wonderful blog it came from:
- Roosevelt High School’s Writing Center
- Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 — 5:30-7:30pm
- Hosted by: Sergio Julio Torres
- Catered by La Bonita Restaurant!
Visit this link for more info: