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Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection
South One and South Two Galleries
September 7 – November 23, 2013
Cheech Marin – the entertainer well known for his work in movies, television, and improvisational comedy – has been acquiring art for more than 25 years, amassing arguably the most renowned collection of Chicano art in private hands. Chicanitas features paintings – all under 16 x 16 inches – that showcase 26 established and emerging Chicano artists whose works range widely from photo-realism, to abstractions, portraits to landscapes. Marin's intent as an art advocate is to provide greater public exposure to the work of Chicano artists who he feels are simply outstanding painters. The Chicano art movement arose 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 in California, 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.
(left) Sandy Rodríguez, Payasa, 1998, oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches, courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection
(right) Ricardo Ruiz, La Mendiga, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 6 x 6 inches, courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection