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Monday, July 4, 2011

CHICANITAS Exhibition from the Cheech Marin Collection through July 31

I invite you to a visual feast for the eyes, an explosion of color, energy and humanity. Art connoisseur Cheech Marin's Collection of Small Paintings by 26 Chicano artists is now on exhibit at Mesa Contemporary Arts Galleries in Mesa Arts Center. The show runs through July 31, 2011, and includes an endearing video interview with comedy legend and art collector Cheech Marin. He champions Chicano artists deserving of widespread recognition with diverse styles ranging from the refined and masterful traditionalist to the more primitive, yet profound muralists.

Emerging and internationally recognized Chicano painters explore beyond the canvas, and work on found objects such as wood, tile, metal (tin, copper) and paper. The textures of oil and acrylic on these surfaces create an intimate capture for the viewer. The color palettes range from vibrant and robust, warm and impacting to neon-graffiti statements.

Lifelong journeys and social commentary are presented to fascinate the viewer. As a photographer, I was stretched in two distinctly polar directions: the need to create photojournalistic imagery and the urge to add the physical aspect of painting to digital works. I left with a deep respect, empathy, and a hunger to see more work from this prolific community of artists.