SOUTH BEND, IND.- The Snite Museum of Art
presents Chicanitas, Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection on view beginning Sunday, September 4, 2011.
This exhibition showcases 65 paintings by 26 painters represented in Cheech Marins noted collection of Chicano art. Marin, the entertainer well known for his work in movies, television, and improvisational comedy, has been acquiring art for more than 20 years, and he has amassed one of the most renowned collections of Chicano art in private hands.
The Chicano art movement arose in California in response to the political, cultural, and labor causes of the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. Inspired by the struggles of migrant farm workers led by labor organizer César Chávez, Chicanismo evolved into a general political and cultural revolution within the United States, stressing political self-empowerment, an assertion of cultural pride, and an affirmation of ethnic identity among Americans of Mexican heritage.
The Cheech Marin Collection includes a number of widely exhibited works from the 1980s and 1990s by such first-generation Chicano artists as Carlos Almaraz, Margaret García, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez, whose artistic careers began during the Chicano civil rights movement. Many in this generation were political activists, creating posters, graphics, and murals in the monumental tradition of Diego Rivera. Others convey Chicano experience through scenes of daily life in the barrio, expressive portraiture, and surrealist-influenced dreamscapes with a keen psychological edge.
The paintings herein are whole, entire and complete unto themselves. There is great power in clarity, and the featured artists have distilled the essence of their individual visions into a format that speaks clearly the message that they want to convey
in other words size doesnt matter its whats inside the frame that counts.
There is something about the intimacy of a small painting that draws you in and implants itself is the warmth of your memory. For the collector, the small paintings are the ones that remain with them throughout their lives. They are the paintings that are always in their bedrooms or their kitchens or whatever room in which they spend the most time. The owners know every square inch of these paintings and can almost see them in the dark.
In Chicanitas, several young artists are getting their first national exposure. These paintings are their calling cards and they speak with eloquence, style, and clarity. Enjoy!
~ Cheech Marin, Malibu, California, 2011