Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cesar Martinez visits Victoria

Cesar Martinez in full lecture mode.
What a cool opportunity freshman English students at UHV had today to hear a lecture by Chicano artist Cesar Martinez of San Antonio.

I got to interview Cesar last week preceding his visit, and he has had a neat history, followed by a career that most artists would envy.
Though he is known mostly for his "pachuco" series and the "bato" paintings, he showed us some of his newer work using textures and different mediums and it is all stunning. It has the absolute flavor of South Texas, from using rattlesnake skins to painting dust devils to his subjects who make the area what it is.

He also has a great way of archiving potential subject material by going through obituary listings in the newspaper and clipping out faces that are filled with character. His "Bato con lime green shirt," pictured here, is a San Antonio man who he knew through ad agency work. The rest are mesclas of people from his family, or some he went to high school with, and others who he thought just looked interesting.

I don't think the 18-year-olds, whether Mexican-American or not, "got it" - that they were seeing a true legend in the art field. But maybe one day, they'll be able to say, "I saw Cesar Martinez in my freshman class."

Que raro. Que cool.


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