To celebrate the Chicano art culture and history, part of American actor and comedian Cheech Marin’s collection of Chicano Art: “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper” is now on display at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.
Having been self-educated in the arts, Marin decided to tap into what he says was “undiscovered territory,” in the late 1980s.
“They [the paintings] spoke to me out of a centuries-old art tradition that they were a part of,” Cheech Marin said.
Artists of Chicano Art tend to use imagery influenced by Pre-Hispanic symbols and post-revolutionary nationalistic Mexican motives to the Chicano movement of the 1960s.
Marin said his passion for Chicano Art was immediate, and people are able to see as much Picasso as you do Mexican inner city things in each painting.
“And they speak to me personally because I was a Chicano” Marin said.
Marin describes himself as an inveterate collector and compares choosing a stand-out piece with the impossibility of choosing a favorite child.
“I can point to every single one of these and be like ‘well that’s my favorite,” Marin said. “I might find something tomorrow that’s my favorite painting.”
“This, this particular collection can create a strong connection with the community,” WFMA curator Danny Bills said.
Bills said the museum is always looking for ways to serve both the Wichita Falls community as well as Midwestern State University and what better way to do that then by having diverse pieces exhibited.
“I felt like this would be a good bridge for that.” Bills said. “I knew the work would appeal to everyone.”
Marin, who is not an artist himself said his mantra and something he wants people to know is that people can’t love or hate Chicano Art unless they see it.
The collection contains 65 pieces of art by 24 established and emerging artists.
The exhibit is open to the public until Dec. 1.