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Art Of East L.a.

May 01, 1988

Being a "Chicano" painter I was intrigued by the assumptions of Weisman and his interviewees on the main points that they tried to illuminate--but didn't. From my experience, the greatest rejection comes not from the mainstream art world but from the Chicano clique itself. If a Chicano's artwork isn't loaded down with Mexican folk icons and folk symbols, then that artist isn't considered a member of La Raza.

Chicano culture and Chicano art will never become "global" so long as those who have matured past the provincialism of the gang mentality are rejected by the community from which they sprang. I'll gladly open my one-room apartment/studio to anyone wishing to see my work as a Chicano who paints; just don't lump me with those who are too immature to see past the barrio walls of their own making.

AL VARELA

Los Angeles

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