Imagine: International Chicano Poetry Journal
Vol. III, Summer-Winter 1986, Nos. 1 & 2
Artists and Critics included: Juana Alicia, Carlos Almaraz, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Teresa Archuleta,-Sagel, Jose Arguelles, Asco, Judy Baca, Santa Barraza, Jesus Bautista Moroles, Jose Antonio Burciaga, Barbara Carrasco, Wilfredo Q. Castano, Edward Chavez, Amargado Cipriano, Jerry Concha, Carlos Cortez Koyokuikatl, East Los Streetscapers, Ricardo Favela, Rudy Fernandez, Alex Flores, Diane Gamboa, harry Gamboa, Jr, Rubert Garcia, Shira M. Goldman, Raul Guerrero, Zarco Guerrero, Ester Hernandez, Willie Herron, Benito Huerta, Luis Jimenez, Francisco A. LeFrebre, Liz Lerma Bowerman, Carmen Lomas Garza, Cesar A. Martinez, Daniel Martinez, Manual Martinez, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Jose Montoya, Mujeres Muralistas, Roberto Munguia, Juanishi V. Orosco, Jose Paniagua, Ernesto Paul, Anthony Ortega, Anthony Quinn, Jacinto Quirarte, Rene Rios, Gregorio Rivera, Bernadette Rodriguez, Patricia Rodriguez, Ruben Trejo, Luis Alberto Urrea, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, Linda Vallejo, Frederico M. Vigil, Tomas Ybarra-Frausto
In my handmade paper sculptures, I strive to incorporate the cultural concepts of the Chicano/Mexicano aesthetic, twentieth century American lifestyle and symbols, along with contemporary artmaking techniques. At present, I am working on a Tree of Life sculpture series, which incorporates wood and mixed media with hand-made paper. The Tree of Life is a symbol found in many cultural interpretations of the world, from the universal family tree, to the Mexican tree of Life, to the Biblical tree of life found in revelations. As I complete more Tree of Life sculptures, I find more cultural correlations and explanations. Often my audience teaches me about the symbols I utilize in my sculpture. The tree of Life series began as a response to a community invitation to participate in an altar exhibition. I am not an altar maker but hopes to response to the invitation with an altar that would share some of the symbols and lessons I had learned from y experience withing the Chicano/Mexicano cultural ceremonial calendar. I invited over 50 of my community friends to decorate a tree I arranged in a community gallery. I received many objects in the mail along with offerings from visitors on the day of the installation. After the installation of this first Tree of Life, I began receiving gifts of branches and trees, In my work, I do not just or make decisions which confine, so I took the gifts and began my series of sculpture pieces. My artistic process included traveling into the mountains and collecting wood that has “good form” I do not analyze the wood fragments or make artistic decisions for the forms. I return to my studio, prepare paper pulp and the found objects I have collected to make sculpture. I begin with a feeling and a cultural image. Carried by this impression, I allow sculpture to evolve without judgment. During the process I refer to the cultural imagery I am working with to insure its incorporation to the sculpture.
Food of the Gods / Comida de Los Dioses, 1984; mixed media, handmade paper, 34 x 30 x 7 inches, from the collection of Anita Miranda
Mictlantechutili /Lord of the Region of the Dead, 1983; mixed media, handmade paper, 20 x 20 x 5.5 inches