By Ernest Hogan
Oh yeah, I'm also an artist. Our specialist culture doesn't like you to be more than one thing. It's just too rasquashe. I can't help it; like writing, like drawing, it's what I do.
When I wrote Chicanonautica Manifesto – that will soon be published in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies – I was thinking about literature, but since Chicano is all about attitude, it can also be applied to all kinds of art. Damn the borders, full speed ahead!
Which brings me to those three drawings of mine that were in Josh Ríos and Anthony Romero's Please Don't Bury Me Alive, Part Two show, in Sector 2337 in Chicago. They all sold. Now I'm really feeling like some kind of big chingón artist!
Could this be the Chicano Art I was talking about? Or maybe Chicanonautic Art?
Damn the labels, full speed ahead!
The full title of this one is Videodoo: An Altered State of the Union. It's also labeled A Quetzalcoatlist Anti-Propaganda Production. Très Chicano, non? Très political, too. I drew it back in 1983, and the conflicts that inspired it are still going on – I keep expecting them to go away, but they don't. Does anybody these days recognize the caricature of Ronald Reagan?
Serpent-Head Spaceships is a Chicanoid injection of pre-Columbian imagery into sci-fi, providing an alternative to the all-white, middle class vision of the future that had dominated the popular imagination until very recently. Looks like an attempt at cultural subversion. Or could it be gonzo archeology/anthropology?
Inner Space Man is a humanoid stripped down to a monstrous essence. Naked Raza Cosmica? Since Chicano is a science fiction state of being, are we all Chicanonauts under the skin? Dare we peel it back and see?
And they all sold. A long way from the days when people would look at my art, then ask if I had ever shown it to a psychiatrist.
Has the world finally caught up with my radical aesthetics? Can I turn my stacks of battered sketchbooks into a money machine? Should I sell fine art originals, or go the Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction route? Or both?
To be continued . . .
Ernest Hogan has a bad habit of assembling his knowledge and experience into disturbing art and writing. Giving him money for it only encourages him.