New York Times 2018

We Need Protests. And Paintings.
The New York Times
By Héctor Tobar
New York
January 27, 2018




The history of Latino diaspora art in Los Angeles shows that even small, local works can produce big cultural shifts. In the 1970s, a group of Los Angeles artists at the barrio gallery Self-Help Graphics wanted their community to celebrate the beauty of Mexican culture. So they worked to recreate Mexican “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) traditions in Los Angeles, starting with events in East Los Angeles parking lots.

“Everyone was trying to discover their roots, who they were,” the artist Linda Vallejo told me last fall at a retrospective on the gallery’s four decades of Día de los Muertos work. Those artists helped make Day of the Dead, with its marigolds and sugar skulls, the newest addition to the pantheon of American ethnic holidays.



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