Linda Vallejo, a Los Angeles-based artist, has created an iconoclastic, provocative and wickedly funny body of work, “Make ’Em All Mexican,” offering a biting social and political satire with an unexpected, post-postmodern twist.
“Make ’Em All Mexican” is part of a greater art exhibition, “PERSPECTIVES,” and is on display Oct. 1-Dec. 15 at RAFFMA, Cal State San Bernardino’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 29 from 5-7 p.m. at the museum, with a preview for Friends of the Museum at 4:30 p.m.
The exhibit is part of CSUSB’s observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, which the university celebrates Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
The “PERSPECTIVES” exhibition, curated by Eva Kirsch, features four other artists – Luis G. Hernandez, David Rosales, Kathy Sosa, and Gregg Stone – each of them in a solo exhibition with its own title. The “Make ‘Em All Mexican” exhibit at RAFFMA was organized through Katharine T. Carter & Associates. RAFFMA also will host a panel discussion with Vallejo, Hernandez, Rosales and Stone on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 4-6 p.m.
In her new series, Vallejo appropriates and repurposes sacred and pop Western icons, from Venus of Milo through the British queen and early American presidents to Elvis Presley, and turns them into Latinos. In the process, she “de-constructs the time-honored images to create new cultural icons.” She hopes to reveal gradually more and more in the area of cultural consciousness, cultural dreams and wishes, and the cultural separateness that so many Americans feel today.
Since 2010, Vallejo has been “enthralled with images charged with a specific cultural viewpoint used to interpret contemporary issues.” She makes the viewers “laugh and then apologize for ‘thinking it’s a joke.’”
Vallejo believes that she has found a way to exhibit and describe the Latino/Mexican-American/Chicano conundrum, condition and attitude that they face in “living the American dream.” She persuades viewers to envision their imaginary and wished-for political and social status and then forces them to face the reality of their predicament. In this way, she challenges all prejudices – old and new ones alike, offering an entertaining, refreshing and highly cathartic experience in the times when the freedoms of using satire are so limited.
“Interestingly, the visceral reactions to Vallejo’s work is extremely diverse and playful,” says Eva Kirsch, RAFFMA director. “Excitingly, however, on top of all things suggested and exposed in her work, Vallejo also reveals, intentionally or not, the tragic intellectual circumstance of our times – that it’s impossible to speak openly about these issues because the controlled language of today’s discourse.”
About the Artist
Linda Vallejo received her master’s in fine arts in printmaking from California State University, Long Beach in 1978. Her work investigates contemporary cultural, political, spiritual and environmental issues.
She was recently included in The California/International Arts Foundation’s publication L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980 and two exhibitions in the Getty Foundation’s Initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980. A solo exhibition of “Make ’Em All Mexican” was presented by Arte Americas in collaboration with the Fresno Art Museum and Central California Museum of Art Advisory Committee in June 2012 and is scheduled for inclusion in Art Basel Week at Aqua Art Miami in December 2012 with the George Lawson Gallery and El Museo de Las Americas “Biennial of the Americas 2013,” in Denver, Colorado, in June 2013.
Her work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, UCLA Fowler Museum, The Carnegie Art Museum, Armand Hammer Museum, Laguna Art Museum, Bronx Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, San Antonio Museum, Mexico City Modem Art Museum, Southwest Museum in Texas and McNider Museum, among other venues. She has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards; her work has been reviewed in ArtNews, Art Business News, Southwest Art, The Los Angeles Times and Art Limited Magazine.
Linda Vallejo is represented by The George Lawson Gallery, 8564 Washington Blvd., Culver City, Calif., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art is a nationally recognized museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is the only accredited art museum in San Bernardino. Located at Cal State San Bernardino, RAFFMA has accumulated a permanent collection of nearly 1,200 objects focusing on Egyptian antiquities, ceramics and contemporary art.
General admission to the museum is free. Suggested donation is $3. Parking at Cal State San Bernardino is $5 per vehicle.
The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and is closed Friday and Sunday. For more information, call (909) 537-7373 or visit the RAFFMA website.