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, Rita Gonzalez discusses the artwork of two Los Angeles artists, Salomon Huerta and Victor Estrada, within the context of U.S. West Coast artists and Chicano art. Gonzalez proposes that while these two artists are in dialogue with “old school” Chicano art (for example, Huerta’s hyper-realistic urban portraits are reminiscent of the work of John Valadez and, in turn, Estrada’s work evokes low rider car culture influences), they also strive to reappraise the foundational tenets of Chicano art (historical revisionism, regional identities, and reclamation of cultural images). As a result, they create what Gonzalez terms an integration of “myriad forces of urban life,” which still draws from Chicano art but is not limited by it.
Rita Gonzalez is a Los Angeles curator and writer focused in contemporary Latino art. This essay was included in a special issue of Mexico City’s Poliester magazine that illustrated Los Angeles Latino art and popular culture. While Rita’s essay is centered on Salomon Huerta (born 1965) and Victor Estrada (born 1956), it also functions as a reassessment of the use of “Chicano art” in describing contemporary art being produced by artists 25 years after the beginning of the Chicano Movement. In fact, as per an email exchange with Gonzalez, the original title of this essay was “The Afterlife of Chicano Art,” but the editor of Poliester decided to change it to “Post-Chicano Art.”