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4 of my Favorite Latinx Artists

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate I thought I would share some of my favorite Latinx artists. These are some of the artists I have learned about and taught about over the years.

Illustration featuring a portrait of Marisol with some of her sculptures

Marisol Escobar

  • Born in Paris, France to Venezuelan parents - grew up in Paris and Caracas

  • Was a sculptor who used wood, fabric, and found materials (found materials are recycled objects, trash, etc. - things found and repurposed into art)

  • Merged folk art with pop art

  • Her sculptures commented on women's roles in the 1960's - often thought of as a feminist artist

  • Created sculpture portraits of U.S. presidents, the royal family, and actors and actresses - her sculptures had a bit of humor to them

  • The pop art world was a man's world at the time, she broke boundaries as a female artist in that realm

  • Was more popular in the 1960's than Andy Warhol, but unfortunately her notoriety disappeared over time (say what!?)

  • In the late 2010's, she had a resurgence in popularity

  • The New York Times Obituary detailing more about her life can be found here

Portrait of Sylvia Palacios Whitman during some of her performances

Sylvia Palacios Whitman

  • Grew up in Chile for the first 20 years of her life after which she moved to New York

  • She became interested in theater and dance, which evolved into an interest in performance art

  • At the age of 29, she performed at the Whitney Museum (that's young!)

  • Carried out a variety of performance pieces in different galleries in New York throughout the 1970's

  • In 1980, she gave up her performance art career, but her art has recently become more popular once again

  • In 1977, she did a performance piece called "Passing Through" where she wore giant, oversized hands as props (please Google this)

  • She kept a regular sketchbook of ideas and drawings (amazing drawings in my opinion)

  • Here is an article about Whitman from UCLA

Fernando Llort

  • Has been called "El Salvador's National Artist"

  • Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, but at age 23 he decided to move to a small town called La Palma also in El Salvador

  • His goal in La Palma was to build an artist community - he did this by teaching the residents to make and sell their art

  • La Palma became known for its art and artists rather than agriculture

  • Designed the mosaic artwork on the facade of the metropolitan cathedral of San Salvador, which was sadly destroyed in 2011 (it was beautiful - here is another Google-able moment)

  • Read more on Fernando Llort on his foundation website here

Sketches of artworks by these four artists

Pedro Linares

  • Was originally a paper mache artist making pinatas and judas artworks in Mexico City in the 1930's (Judas' artworks are large paper mache artworks that are blasted apart or set on fire on Holy Saturday before Easter - this feels like something you should Google)

  • As the story goes, one day Linares was sick with a fever - in his dreams he dreamt about brightly colored animal-like figures and kept hearing the word alebrijes

  • When he awoke from the fever, he knew he had to create these creatures and that is how the alebrijes came to be (alebrijes are now a very popular type of Mexican folk art created by Linares and his descendants)

  • His artworks were owned by many people including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera - you can see some examples if you visit their museum La Casa Azul here

  • Have you seen the Disney movie Coco? There are lots of alebrijes to see in that movie (it's one of my favorite animated movies - 5/5 stars, highly recommend)

  • Visit this link to learn more about Linares and his alebrijes - including an alternate version of the how-alebrijes-came-to-be story

Can you help me grow my list of favorite Latinx or Hispanic artists? Please share your favorites in the comments below. In my next blog post, I'll be sharing a few of my favorite art projects to do with kids or adults that will teach you a little bit more about Latinx culture.

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