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Somos La Luz

1992 Charles "Chaz" Bojórquez Born: Los Angeles, California 1949 oil, zolatone, aluminum paint and aluminum leaf on canvas 56 3/8 x 88 1/4 x 3 1/2 in. (143.2 x 224.2 x 8.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program 1994.81 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, East Wing


Gallery Label

Charles "Chaz" Bojórquez began his artistic career "tagging" his neighborhood of Highland Park, Los Angeles, in the early 1970s. Though he now paints on canvas instead of on walls, his work references the history and aesthetics of urban graffiti. The artist's calligraphic letters are adaptations of Cholo-style writing, one of the oldest forms of graffiti. It was invented by Mexican Americans in the 1940s, when gangs marked their territories with roll-calls, or lists of names. In Somos la Luz, Bojórquez created a roll-call of prominent Los Angeles graffiti artists. The title translates as "we are the light."

Keywords

Abstract

Miscellaneous - written matter - graffiti

painting

metal - aluminum

paint - oil

fabric - canvas