Culture

Here Are Some Of The Best Latino Visual Artists Creating Work For Their Communities

Visual artistry today is filled with Latino artists of every age. While the world of Hollywood may be slow at showing the diversity and versatility of America, the art landscape doesn’t reflect that at all. In 2019, you can walk into any museum or gallery and witness vibrant works created by people that look like you and me.

Whether it be through photography, digital graphics, murals, or mixed media, the art world has never looked as beautiful as it does today, and that’s in large part because of talented and expressive Latino artists.

Here are some of our favorite Latino artists you should know about today.

Patrick Martinez

CREDIT: Instagram / patrick_martinez

Despite our own chaotic life or the injustices happening in our country, the work of Patrick Martinez always feels like a haven. Hip hop, street culture, and the community around him is an inspiration for the former student of Pasadena High School Visual Arts and Design. One of his most prominent attractions is his use of neon lights constructed into visual sculptures. Galleries all over the world have displayed his artwork.

Judy Baca

CREDIT: Instagram/@l0l0lita

The artwork of Judy Baca is an institution of Chicano culture. If you live in California or have visited, chances are you’ve seen her work. From the 2,400 feet long “Great Wall of Los Angeles” that is depicted along a flood control channel in the San Fernando Valley to the Cesar Chavez Memorial at San Jose State University, her murals are everywhere. She is also an art teacher and is showing the next generation of Latinx artists the incredible ways they can share our history.

Xochi Solis

CREDIT: Instagram/@xochisolis

At first glance, the art of Xochi Solis feels like warm flesh. Then as you get closer to it, the abstract pieces seem to resemble all of your favorite things in the world compacted on top of each other, almost like a sandwich. It may sound odd. However, her work is incredible. The Austin-based artist says she “considers the repeated act of layering a meditation on color, texture, and shape all leading to a greater awareness of the visual intricacies found in her immediate environment, both natural and cultural.”

Martine Gutierrez

CREDIT: Instagram/@ryanleegallery

“Society perpetuates rigid constructs—fabricated dichotomies like ‘male’ vs. ‘female’, ‘gay’ vs. ‘straight’, ‘minority’ vs. ‘white’, ‘reality’ vs. ‘fantasy’, ‘dominate’ vs. ‘submissive’, etc.,” Brooklyn-based artist Martine Gutierrez says. “But our interpretation of these constructs is subjective and not immutable. Reality, like gender, is ambiguous because it exists fluidly.” The artist’s work is as complex and stunning as identity itself.

Karlito Miller Espinosa

CREDIT: Instagram/@mataruda

Costa Rican artist, Karlito Miller-Espinosa, explores identity in the most brilliant way. His work above — two doormats that have “ni de aquí / ni de allá” instead of the words “welcome” — speaks to the heaviness he brings. “The mats are informed by the American policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) referencing a state of continuous deferment,” he states.

Ruben Guadalupe Marquez

CREDIT: Instagram/@broobs.psd

The work of Ruben Guadalupe Marquez went viral with his tragic but beautiful image of a Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin, the child that died in the custody of the Border Patrol. Since then we’ve been following his work intently on Instagram, where he highlights extraordinary people including Cyntoia Brown and Yalitza Aparicio Martínez with his signature collaging.

Alba Paramo

CREDIT: Instagram/@albaparamoart

“As a Mexican artist, my art is rooted in Latin American symbolism, mythology, literature, and cultural history,” Alba Páramo, a Guadalajara-born, New York-based artist states on her site. “The images that appear in my prints, drawings and paintings are interpretations of dreams about love, nature and the sacred connections between animals and human beings. They are representations of my vision and heritage as well as my deep interest in Tibetan art.”

#RodriguezCalero

CREDIT: Instagram/@critical.objects

We first experienced the work of Rodríguez Calero at an exhibition at the Museo del Barrio in New York City a couple of years ago. We instantly felt transported into some sort of alternative church where are welcomed. The Puerto Rican artist has a magical way of putting together images that look as if their whole intent on earth was to put together as one work of art.

Guadalupe Maravilla

CREDIT: Instagram/@drawingcenter

Our world doesn’t seem to make sense right now, but for some reason, the crazy and insane sculptures by Guadalupe Maravilla fit right in. According to Creative Capital, Maravilla “is a transdisciplinary artist who was part of the first wave of undocumented children to arrive at the United States border in the 1980s from Central America.”

José Parlá,

CREDIT: Instagram/@joseparla

Encountering the work of José Parlá, a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design is like walking into a colorful galaxy. It’s larger than life, and we desperately wish we could simply walk into his massive murals. His work is everywhere, and if you live in New York City go to One World Trade Center and see it for yourself. 

Nani Chacon

CREDIT: Instagram/@nanibah

We’ve been following the work of Nina Chacon for quite some time. The artist, from New Mexico, paints the most stunning murals depicting Latinas, cholos, brown heroes, and so much more. Her work is a real wonder, and we hope she never stops painting.

Cara Romero

CREDIT: Instagram/@cararomerophotography

Photographer Cara Romero depicts the most authentic side to people and their passions. The California native who is now based in New Mexico has won several awards, according to her site, including ribbons at both major markets and the “Visions for the Future” award from the Native American Rights Fund.

Debi Hasky

CREDIT: Instagram/@debihasky

The flirty and feminist illustrations by Panamanian-American artist Debi Hasky bring to light women, powerful women. The artworks are statements of who we are, where we have been, and where we want to go. “Debi’s illustrations are all primarily based on personal experiences, such as her struggles with body love and examining what it is to be a woman today.”

Antonio Caro

CREDIT: Instagram/@lishik90

Colombian born conceptual artist, Antonio Caro, maybe pushing 70 but his artwork is as contemporary as they come. He’s kind of like our version of Andy Warhol — yes, it’s good. You can currently see his work for yourself at the Nasher Museum in Durham, North Carolina.

Favianna Rodriguez

CREDIT: Instagram/@favianna1

We recently covered the accomplishments of artist Favianna Rodriguez because her work was chosen for Ben & Jerry’s “Resistance” ice cream campaign. Her work represents our fight, our struggle, and our people.

“I love to inspire the next generation of artists,” Rodriguez wrote on her Instagram. “When I was a kid, I rarely saw images of myself across media and in museums, and that’s exactly WHY I became an artist. That’s why I advocate for art programs for kids, especially kids of color.

Laura Aguilar

CREDIT: Instagram/@latinx.in.da.south

While groundbreaking photographer Laura Aguilar died last year, her work will never be forgotten. She’s one of the very few Latina queer photographers who could capture subjects through a powerful lens. “She was saying ‘I’m going to show you this femininity in this landscape,'” Los Angeles Times staff writer Carolina Miranda said before Aguilar passed away. ‘”I’m going to show you brown-ness in this landscape, I’m going to show you queerness in this landscape.'”

Raúl de Nieves

CREDIT: Instagram/@norauls

Mexican artist Raúl de Nieves has a way with beads. He has taken a traditional form of art that has been practiced by indigenous people for centuries and transformed it into treasure. His work resembles what you’d find if you dove into the ocean, and God’s most precious things all gathered onto reefs. You can currently see his work at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Graciela Iturbide

CREDIT: Instagram/@gracielaiturbide

People describe the images of Graciela Iturbide have as “anti-picturesque” and “anti-folkloric.” However, they breathe light into the “anti” and give it beauty and authenticity. Her work has been displayed worldwide and can currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Ronny Quevedo

CREDIT: Instagram/#RonnyQuevedo

What would a splash of perfection look like — if the splash is shaped perfectly in line and color? The answer would be Ronny Quevedo. The Ecuadoran, Yale grad, creates massive works of art that look as if they were engineered for the exact spot that they’re located. It’s that insane. He is currently an artist in residence at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn.

Aliza Nisenbaum

CREDIT: Instagram/@marymaryglasgow

Aliza Nisenbaum, a Mexican artist based in Brooklyn, is a realist. By that we mean she paints the real and the true. The work exudes raw emotion in each painting. She is currently Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts (Painting) Columbia University School of the Arts.


READ: 8 Texan Artists Take On Identity And Politics In New Exhibit 

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Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Culture

Alaina Castillo’s New TikTok Video Is Empowering People To Embrace Their Latinidad

Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?

Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”

We got the chance to talk to Alaina Castillo, musical artist and TikTok Queen, about how she identifies with Latinidad and what this TikTok video means to her.

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Checklists don’t define you so don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not enough! 😤@alainacastillo #AreYouLatinoEnough #FamiliaLatina #hhm #orgullo

♬ original sound – we are mitu

What does being Latina mean to you? – mitú

“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.

Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.

What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of? – mitú

“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.

While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!

What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú

“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.

La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú

“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.

You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…

Where is your family from? – mitú

“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.

Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋

Have you ever been to those places? – mitú

“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.

What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú

“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALAINA CASTILLO

What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino? – mitú

“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.

One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.

How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú

“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.

What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú

“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.

So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!

Did we mention quarantine has not stopped Alaina Castillo from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight,” below!

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Cardi B Updated Her Peacock Tattoo And The Glow Up Is Very Real

Entertainment

Cardi B Updated Her Peacock Tattoo And The Glow Up Is Very Real

iamcardib / Instagram

Most people with tattoos have one that they would not mind updating. It is probably your first tattoo or a tattoo that you got on a whim. If you’ve seen Cardi B, you have definitely noticed her peacock tattoo. Well, there’s been a major update on that tattoo.

Cardi B updated her peacock tattoo and is not shy about showing off the fresh ink.

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So inlove with tatt ♥️

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There are a lot of things to notice about the new tattoo. First of all, the tattoo is beautiful. The new colors and the detail are so impressive. It is so well done that the tattoo does not look like a touch-up. Instead, the cover-up tattoo looks like a brand new tattoo.

Here’s a side by side so you can see the full glow-up of this tattoo.

The tattoo artist behind this cover-up went all the way in. There is more to this tattoo than a few touches here and there to change part. The entire tattoo was transformed. Even a butterfly got added to the new and improved flower under the peacock.

Fans are floored by the change in the tattoo.

We have seen Cardi B showing off that tattoo for years yet we have never really taken a good look at it. It is not bad but it is not the most incredible. Honestly, that is an almost necessary thing for Cardi B to do. She is way too famous now to have a busted tattoo covering her entire leg. We expect more now that she is the music sensation she it.

Like, we are almost embarrassed for the tattoo artist who first gave Cardi B that peacock tattoo.

But, you know what. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Some times people do the best that they can do and we can only assume that this is what happened there. Honestly, the new tattoo artist has a road map to follow so it could be argued that cardi B would not have this tattoo had it not been for the first tattoo artist.

Congratulations on the new ink, Cardi B!

This new tattoo is incredible. The artist who made this happen is clearly worth the money and clout. 10/10

READ: Haters Tried To Shame Cardi B With Photoshopped Images Of Her At Target And Boy Did She Clap Back

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