Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

The brochure begins with a part dictionary, part humorous definition of the words “Con Safo,” which is followed by an anonymous short essay that functions as a manifesto for the Con Safo artist collective. In it, the group outlines the reality of a Chicano sensibility, yet given its hybrid nature, also argues for its universality. It concludes with a chronology of the various demonstrations of the group under different names and its final configuration as Con Safo. The brochure also contains artworks by various members, including Jesse Almazan, Mel Casas, Roberto Rios, and Felipe Reyes, and concludes with a listing of its entire membership.

Annotations

Con Safo was a seminal artist collective in San Antonio, Texas, during the late 1970s. As outlined in the brochure essay, it evolved under different names and member configurations, from El Grupo in 1967, Los Pintores de Aztlan, Los Pintores de la Nueva Raza, to Con Safo in 1972. Throughout the five years the artists worked together, the mission of the group remained focused on providing exhibiting opportunities for its members. A subsequent disagreement within the group, based on the definition and role of Chicano art, caused three of the members, César Martinez, Mel Casas, and Carmen Lomas Garza, to leave in 1974. They went to form their own group, Los Quemados, in 1975. Their letter of resignation, written under the title of “Los Tres” [The Three], is included in this database (see doc. no. 849230). According to art historian, Jacinto Quirarte, by the time Con Safo had dissolved, the artists had attained regional and even national exposure and had therefore completed their mission.

Researcher
Tere Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
Courtesy of Mel Casas, San Antonio, TX