The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay, Luis Rodríguez argues for a continued redefinition of Chicano art based on a dialogue previously initiated in articles by Malaquías Montoya and Lezlie Salkowitz-Montoya and Shifra Goldman. Rodríguez remarks on the historical moment from which the Chicano art movement originally emerged in the 1960s and considers the ways in which Chicano artistic production has been molded by and adapted to changing cultural and sociopolitical conditions through the 1970s up to the time of the article’s publication in 1983. He suggests that accessibility and an engagement with the Chicano community must remain a primary concern of all artistic practice. He also believes that modes of production must be flexible and continually evolving in order to exert a critical political influence and to avoid co-optation by the mainstream.
Luis Rodriguez is a writer and was the publisher of Chismearte magazine and director of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association at the time this essay was written. He did it in response to “A Critical Perspective on the State of Chicano Art,” an essay by Lezlie Salkowitz-Montoya and Malaquías Montoya, and a rebuttal by Shifra M. Goldman (see doc. No. 845548 and doc. No. 845294, respectively). All the essays appeared in Metamorfosis, a journal published by the Centro de Estudios Chicano at the University of Washington in Seattle. Rodriguez’s essay takes the middle road of acknowledging the challenges of staying true to the ideology of the Chicano Movement, yet arguing for an artist’s right to make a living from their art.