On Saturday night, November 30, in what some might call the heart of downtown Los Angeles on Spring Street, the artist Gronk opened up his studio loft to host the book launch of Ramón García’s biography of the late Chicano photographer, Ricardo Valverde. The book is the most recent title published by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Press, in the “A Ver: Revisioning Art History” book series which is intended to explore the cultural, aesthetic, and historical contributions of Chicana/o, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and other U.S. Latina/o artists.
Ramón García’s exhaustively researched book is a testament to the artistic and political life of Ricardo Valverde and the other Chicana/o artists who documented Los Angeles during the 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s. Often overlooked or—worse yet—dismissed by academic and artistic institutions alike during his lifetime, García has succeeded in making Valverde’s legacy impossible to diminish or ignore.
The evening was filled with food, drink, music (supplied by María Elena Gaitán—a truly moving part of the evening), and a special appearance by Ricardo’s widow, Esperanza Valverde. Below are photos of the evening’s festivities. Enjoy. And don’t forget to support the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) with a year-end gift! As part of the CSRC’s holiday sale through December 19, this book—and all CSRC books and DVDs—is 40 percent off when purchased directly from the CSRC. To purchase, contact Darling Sianez at 310-825-3428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The crowd enjoys the evening.|
|Ramón García and Esperanza Valverde.|
|Poet and artist Marisela Norte and Esperanza Valverde.|
|A Gronk wall.|