Make ‘Em All Mexican
Arte Américas – Casa De La Cultúra
in collaboration with the Fresno Museum, Fresno, CA.
Organized by the Central California Museum of Art (CCMA)
Curated by Gordon Fuglie, CCMA Director and Head of Curatorial Affairs
Make ‘Em All Mexican: A Series by Linda Vallejo
written by Gordon Fuglie, curator
Amidst the roiling national debate about American identity, veteran California Latina artist Linda Vallejo creates a realm in which US popular culture is overlain with a Mexican-American sensibility. Gleefully raiding the world of classic commercial images of middle class WASP life, Vallejo gives common American icons a new sabor, or flavor. The result is the satirical series Make ‘Em All Mexican (MEAM).
According to the artist, “like many Americans, I’ve become a person of the world, with a wide cultural perspective. At a moment of introspection, however, I focused on what popular cultural images and objects once beloved of white, middle-class America might look like if I transformed them through my personal Mexican-American, Chicano lens.”
In 2010, Vallejo began acquiring numerous popular 20th century collectables, as well as appropriating vintage commercial imagery from the internet, stocking her studio with these materials in order to “make ‘em all Mexican.”
A year later, Vallejo is well on her way to producing a compelling body of work, combining various media, juxtaposing incongruous forms to create images and objects not only peculiar to the artist’s Latino heritage, but also resonating across racial and social lines.
Ironically, MEAM is timely in light of the unease about and among Latinos since the Recession, the election of President Barack Obama, the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and the persisting cultural and political questions about 21st century American identity.
Make ‘Em All Mexican: A Series by Linda Vallejo is organized by the Central California Museum of Art and curated by Gordon Fuglie, the CCMA’s Director and Head of Curatorial Affairs. MEAM will be on view at Arte Américas, an acclaimed community organization and the largest Latino cultural center in the Central Valley of California.