Painting: Oil on Canvas.
My painting, "La Causa" (The Cause), was one of two canvases I premiered at the exhibition, "¡ADELANTE! Mexican American Artists: 1960s and Beyond," which took place at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California from September 9, 2011 through January 1, 2012. My oil paintings were created especially for the exhibition. The show was an exploration of the world of Chicano art, and included artworks from "veteranos" of the 1960s Chicano Arts Movement, as well as paintings, drawings, and prints from a whole new generation of artists involved in creating Chicanarte (Chicano art).
My painting is the depiction of two female cadre of the Brown Berets, a left-leaning Chicano organization that began in Los Angeles but came to prominence throughout the American Southwest during the early 1970s; the group is still active today. I felt it important to portray these young Chicana activists as a counter-balance to the stereotypical images of Latinas. My canvas may very well be the first serious painting of the Brown Berets.
The title of my canvas is taken from the words that appear on the emblematic patch worn on the berets of the organization's members, the "cause" being the liberation of the Chicano/Mexicano people. My canvas is not a wholesale endorsement of the Brown Berets, but rather an acknowledgement of the role the organization played in the history and collective consciousness of Mexican-Americans. The painting is journalistic in nature, and it captures a reality still found in certain layers of the Chicano community in the United States.
"La Causa" (The Cause) does not require framing. The canvas is stretched over solid wood stretcher bars that are two inches in width; the outer edges of the canvas covered stretcher bars are painted mat black. When the painting is hung and viewed from the side, its black edges give a finished, professional look.
Keywords: portrait, realism, women, oil painting, chicano art, Social Realism, Chicanarte