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  • ICAA Record ID
    782527
    AUTHOR
    Kalb, Laurie Beth
    TITLE
    Chicano Art and Santos by Luis Tapia
    IN
    Crafting Devotions : Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos. -- Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA : University of New Mexico Press, 1994
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 45-87
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Kalb, Laurie Beth. “Chicano Art and Santos by Luis Tapia.” In Crafting Devotions : Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos, 45–87. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA: University of New Mexico Press, 1994.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

Written by Laurie Beth Kalb, this essay profiles New Mexican artist Luis Tapia, known primarily as a santero [religious statue carver] as well as furniture maker and preserver. The essay details Tapia’s childhood in Agua Fria, a predominantly Hispanic community near Santa Fe, New Mexico, then discusses in length the development of his artistic practice, its ideological motivations, and his commitment to preserving traditional New Mexican forms and styles while pursuing his own individual aesthetic. The document situates Tapia within the framework of the Chicano movement, which the artist identifies as central to the development of his awareness of the role of politics in the manipulation and invention of cultural identity. Additionally, the text underscores Tapia’s fraught relationship with the mainstream art milieu and the degree to which this has impacted his artistic practice and ideas about tradition, appropriation, preservation, and authenticity.

Annotations

This comprehensive essay was included in the exhibition catalog Crafting Devotions: Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos held at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles in 1994, which focused on the contemporary artistic manifestations of northern New Mexico’s santeros. In her description of Tapia’s life and art career, Kalb positions him, unlike other Hispano [Northern New Mexican] artists, as heavily influenced by the Chicano movement. She also makes a pivotal connection between the artist collective, La Cofradía de Arte y Artesanos Hispánicos [The Art and Artisan Hispanic Guild] (of which Tapia was a founding member), and the artistic and political tenets of the Chicano movement.

Researcher
Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA