Brown Belongings: A Dialogue with Linda Vallejo about the Politics of Color and Class
First Amendment Museum at the Gannett House
April 14, 2022
Join artist Linda Vallejo as she describes her new exhibit “Brown Belongings”, which represents ten years of concentrated work on visualizing what it means to be a person of color in the United States. These works reflect what she calls her “brown intellectual property”—the experiences, knowledge, and feelings she has gathered over more than four decades of study in Chicano/a and American indigenous communities.
Since 2010 Vallejo has produced hundreds of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper entitled “Make ‘Em All Mexican.” She purchases pricey antiques (plaster and porcelain figures, magazines, and postcards) and paint their skin brown. There is a “brown” Elvis Presley, Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble, Marie Antoinette & Louis Auguste, the Rose Parade Queen, Queen Mother, Greek and Roman gods. In 2015 she produced “The Brown Dot Project,” a series of “data pictographs,” images on gridded architectural vellum where brown dots represented actual data. The works portrayed various data sets including US Latino populations; professional numbers in health, education, and business sectors; and Latino contribution to the US Gross National Product.
“Brown Belongings” will lead participants down an ironic path to find yourself confronted by some of the most difficult questions of our time, “Do race, color, and class define our status in the world?” “Is it possible to be a part of and earnestly contribute to multiple cultures simultaneously?” “Does color and class define our understanding and appreciation of culture?”
Artist Linda Vallejo describes her exhibit “Brown Belongings,” which represents ten years of concentrated work on visualizing what it means to be a person of color in the United States.
First Amendment Museum website