CSUSB Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art
The Perspectives exhibition curated by Eva Kirsch, features four other artists – Linda Vallejo, Luis G. Hernandez, David Rosales, Kathy Sosa, and Gregg Stone – each of them in a solo exhibition with its own title. Linda Vallejo, a Los Angeles based artist, has created an iconoclastic, provocative, and wickedly funny body of work entitled Make ‘Em All Mexican with an unexpected, post-postmodern twist.
Make ‘Em All Mexican was a part of a greater art exhibition entitled Perspectives presented at RAFFMA, Cal State San Bernardino’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. An artist panel was presented with Perspective artists Linda Vallejo, Luis Hernandez, Davis Rosales, and Gregg Stone.
Iconoclastic, provocative and wickedly funny, Linda Vallejo’s new works offer biting social and political satire with an un-expected, post-postmodern twist. “They first make one laugh and then apologize for thinking that ‘it was a joke,'” the artist observes. Vallejo appropriates and repurposes both sacred and pop Western icons, from Venus de Milo to Elvis Presley, and turns them all into Mexicans. She deconstructs time-honored images and replaces them with new cultural icons.
A native of Southern California and a fourth generation Mexican-American with strong family traditions, Vallejo considers many other experiences as her formative ones, such as her childhood years spent in Europe and her extensive travels. Mostly a painter throughout her 40-year career, she recently changed her artistic direction. Inspired by “post production” works and images that juxtapose seemingly contrary cultural symbols and icons, she started asking herself, “What would a post-production work of art look like from a Latino/Mexican/Chicano point of view?” Her answer is Make ‘Em All Mexican, a series that began in October 2010 and has been expanding ever since.
Vallejo’s work challenges all prejudices and offers and entertaining, refreshing and highly cathartic experience. The visceral reactions to it are diverse and playful while the critical perceptions tend to follow the sanctioned language monopoly of postmodern discourse. It is not surprising that, on top of all the ideas suggested and exposed in her work, Vallejo also reveals the sad intellectual fact of our times – that it’s impossible to speak openly about issues of color and class due to the controlled language of today’s discourse.
I am enthralled with images charged with cultural viewpoints that interpret contemporary issues. I believe that I have found a way to describe the Latino/Mexican-American/Chicano conundrum, condition, and attitude in “living the American dream.” My work persuades viewers to envision their imaginary and wished-for political and social status and then forces them to face the reality of their predicament. Make ‘Em All Mexican reveals cultural consciousness, dreams and wishes, and the separateness that so many Americans feel today.