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Nuestras Américas An Exploration of Expressive Cultures in Latina and Latino America

The Graphic Art of Latino Expressive Culture

These silkscreen prints evoke the tensions, affirmations, and adaptations found in Latino cultural expressions. Herbert Siguenza’s exuberant “Sabor y Salsa” (undated) and “Orquesta Batachanga” (1983) are community-centered posters that contribute to Latinos’ sense of place and belonging in the San Francisco’s Mission District through the rhythms of Latin American and Afro-Cuban music.

Orquesta Batachanga Voz De Samba Arco Iris
Sabor y Salsa

The iconic Carmen Miranda’s tropical motif in Alex Donis’ “Rio Por No Llorar” (1988) is used to convey the pain that transnational corporations have inflicted on indigenous communities in Central American countries where coffee and bananas are grown for export to the U.S.

Rio, Por No Llorar

Hybridity is at work in the music of the Los Angeles-based Chicano punk rock group the Plugz in Richard Duardo’s “Plugz-Nuevo Wavo” (1978) that fused Tex-Mex, punk, and new wave musical styles in the late 1970s. This promotional poster represents the “do it yourself” working together ethos that applied as much to the production of Chicano graphic art as it did to the production of punk recordings.

From the Richard Duardo Collection of Silk Screen Prints. Special Research Collections, UCSB Library.

Latina artist Favianna Rodriguez is interested in iconography and questions of transnationalism. In “Como la Flor” (2001) she honors the iconic Selena Quintana-Pérez, the Queen of Tejano music. Selena fused Tejano with other styles of music and created a fashion sense that inspired millions of Latin American and Latino followers.

Como La Flor