Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Guest Columnist Nicki De Necochea: Collecting Chicanarte

Editor:"What is Chicano Art?" A question akin to answering, "What is Chicano Literature?" Clear your throat, rare back, and don't say anything. Let the art do the talking. Arte becomes in the eye of the Collector. Definition by acquisition. Not because the Collector says so, but because the Arte says so. A work calls out "here I am, Chicano Art!" and the Collector buys it using checkbook logic. What moves you to pass or pay?

In this series on collecting and collections, La Bloga explores the genre of chicanarte and collecting it. We welcome Guest Writers to share their motivations, goals, point-of-purchase decisions, deal-breakers, and other boundaries between you and a red dot on that wall wtih your name on it.
 michael sedano



Nicki De Necochea 

If the definition of art collectors means they are people who truly love and value the pieces they purchase, then any one of us can be an art collector when we buy original art.     

Con La Vida No Se Juega. Nicki De Necochea

I am an artist and lover of art, but not necessarily an art collector in a formal sense.   Perhaps an art collector is the more serious art connoisseur, who researches and analyzes; and with the fatter wallet, and a penchant for calculating their purchases as investments for future gains.   I love living with my art  and that of others, love appreciating it every time I walk into a room.                

I am an art enthusiast.   And while my “collection” might garner increased value over the years, my art buying is driven by a love impulse.  

If I love it, then the next question is likely whether I can afford it.  I would imagine professional collectors have those questions too, just on a much more business-oriented and larger scale.  

The art purchases of originals made over the years have been impulse decisions, made with my eyes and my heart.   It’s artwork that I’ve been drawn to without explanation or any deep analysis, but represent the things that move me like culture, community, the piece’s unspoken message, and also the raw talent transformed to human energy and passion, put to canvas.    

The image I have of a serious art collector is also one that is cash-flush, and shops for pieces with a well-motivated intention to “collect” and in the long run to invest in pieces they are banking will grow in value as the artist grows in popularity.   

These collectors have likely researched with a passion and anticipation that their choices are a calculated investment, and at some level a gamble on the likelihood that the artist and the pieces increase in notoriety and value.   

In my twenties, I recall being drawn to local art that I could not afford, dreaming that one day I would be able to dress my own walls with original pieces.    Little did I know, some thirty years later that those pieces would mostly be the ones created by me, as I shed my self-imposed limits and began to paint in oils not so long ago.  

Cruz.  Emilia Cruz 

In the last few years, I found myself drawn to the works of some of the artists who were posting their art on social media.   And gradually I began to follow a few of these artists on their on-line pages.   My appreciation for their work compelled me to reach out to a few to ask about their work.  And on one occasion, so drawn, that I jumped in the car and drove for hours to attend a gallery show, wondering if I could even afford the young artist’s work.   Well, that was one of my first investments in a piece called “Cruz”, by Emilia Cruz a very talented Los Angeles artist.   

Colores Del Campo. David Flores

Then, I fell in love with a piece shared by an artist, David Flores, on his Facebook page, that just spoke to my love of vibrant color and cultural imagery.   It, gave me a heart tug as it represented to me the women of my culture.  

Still Life. Arthur Carrillo

Another piece was purchased because of its intricate and unusual still life objects using a photo real technique, by Arthur Carrillo, whose work I love and appreciate and admittedly could never undertake on my own.  So precise and a bit surreal.    

On one occasion, I attended a Frida festival in my local community, and gravitated toward a life size (or near life size) “Frida” by artist Jorge Pina, who creates using wood burning tools to generate images on large wood panels.

 I handed him my card, and shared my interest and attraction to the painting but didn’t believe it would “fit” on any wall in my home.   The only color on the piece are Frida’s scarlet lips.  

My decision predicated on whether I had any wall space left on which to display her. 

Big time collectors I doubt think that way.   I live with my art; it’s not stored, it’s making me happy every day.  So, if buying original art which we love makes one a collector, then perhaps I’m headed in that direction.    

Pan con café. Jana Ayala

 NDN 070221


Anonymous said...

Great post, wonderful examples (you obviously have a great collection). I really like the term "Chicanarte", what a great name, something we all can relate to.

Suzanna Vega said...

Yes, I always purchase original Chicano/Chicana art I Love to display in my home. Many times its art I can't afford but that never stops me because Love means being behind on some bills in order to see my "Loves" daily. I never think of my "Loves" as an investment.