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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Many Say This Was The Decade Latino Music Went Mainstream And These Top Songs Of The Decade Prove Them Right

Entertainment

Many Say This Was The Decade Latino Music Went Mainstream And These Top Songs Of The Decade Prove Them Right

In the 2010s, technology and connectivity made creating, distributing and listening to music easier than ever before. Latinos crossed over to worldwide audiences and collaborated with artists from different countries. ‘El género urbano’ reached new horizons and we heard the classic reggaeton beat being sung in lots of different languages. The result was both a blessing and a curse: There was a lot of great music out there, but it was virtually impossible to keep up. So we narrowed it down to the best Latinx songs of the decade. Read on to find out which 13 songs were the most played, memorable and catchy hits of the 2010s.  

‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin x Willy Williams

Inspired by the French singer Willy William’s, “Voodoo Song”, J Balvin’s ‘Mi Gente’ became the first song in Spanish to reach the ‘Top 50 global’ songs on Spotify with help from Beyonce and her remix. 

‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Despacito was definitely the biggest song of 2017, and arguably the most played Spanish-language song of the decade. The sweltering pop reggaeton-love ballad hybrid was everywhere that summer, playing in cities and suburbs, at house parties and barbecues, at wedding receptions and department stores, in people’s headphones during their commute. “Despacito” was inescapable and inevitable. You couldn’t avoid the song if you tried.

‘Waka Waka’ (This Time For Africa) Shakira

What’s the most beloved, most streamed World Cup song of all time? If your first guesses were Ricky Martin or Pitbull, you’re way off — the honor belongs to Shakira, whose 2010 anthem “Waka Waka (Song for Africa) handily beats them all. The track, recorded with the Cape Town, South Africa fusion band, Freshlyground, went to No. 1 in 15 countries and is one of the best-selling singles of all time

‘Vivir mi Vida’ Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony’s super hit was number 1 in the US Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Airplay, and peaked at number 92 on the US Billboard Hot 100. ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ was Certified gold in Italy with sales over 15,000 copies and in Spain with sales over 20,000 copies. Vivir Mi Vida’ is a song about life, living happy and forgetting sadness. It’s a happy salsa tune registered Anthony’s return to music after 10 years. Marc said:”I like living with the ideas of a song for a long time before I even go to the studio, but I truly feel that this was the right time, and I’m very happy with the final product.”

‘Danza Kuduro’ Lucenzo ft. Don Omar

With French-Portuguese singer Lucenzo by his side, Don Omar hit the jackpot in 2010 with the one-of-a-kind “Danza Kuduro,” a Spanish/Portuguese-language tribute to an Angolan dance move. In the aftermath of 2000s reggaeton-mania, Don Omar seized an opportunity to innovate, adopting the kuduro 4/4 rhythm and dusting off an accordion sample for good measure. Don Omar’s globetrotting formula earned him his second Number One hit on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart – as well as Lucenzo’s first – and the single sold over a million digital copies. S.E.

‘Bailando’ Enrique Iglesias ft. Gente de Zona & Sean Paul

The original Spanish-language version was a beast unto itself; it spent a record 41 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart (four years before “Despacito” surpassed it). The official video, the 11th most-viewed video on YouTube today, was the first Spanish-language music video to reach more than 1 billion views. But it was the Sean Paul-assisted Spanglish remix, however, that helped “Bailando” reach crossover audiences – it peaked at Number 12 on the Hot 100 chart.

‘Ginza’ J Balvin

Si necesitas reggaetón, dale,” sang Balvin in his catchy hit – “If you need reggaeton, get it.” Balvin’s unbothered, melodic flow sets him apart from the aggro reggaeton players of yesteryear. After sitting at the top of the Hot Latin Songs chart for 22 weeks, “Ginza” broke the Guinness World Record for the chart’s longest stay at number one by a solo artist. 

‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’ Michel Telo

The danceable song, which generated nearly half a billion YouTube hits, upped Brazil’s pop-culture presence its role as host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. The pop song by Brazilian heartthrob Michel Telo was a massive, viral hit —and its probably the most popular song to come out of Brazil since The Girl From Ipanema.

‘La Gozadera’ Gente de Zona ft. Marc Anthony

Following a tropical Latinx music lyric tradition, “La Gozadera” calls out a list of countries from the Spanish-speaking world, inviting everyone to join the party. The happy show of Pan-Latin spirit pretty much guaranteed the song’s international popularity.

‘Felices los 4’ Maluma

The song made it to 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 2 on the Billboard Hot Latin Song chart. What’s more, it was on the set of the music video that Maluma met his girlfriend Natalia Barulich —the hit was a win-win situation for everyone.

‘Dile que tu me quieres’ Ozuna

Ozuna first rose to stardom with his hit single ‘Dile que tu me quieres’ in 2016. The song earned him a place at 13 on the Billboard Latin chart at the end of that year.

‘Adrenalina’ Wisin ft. Jennifer Lopez & Ricky Martin

This song cemented Wisin’s success as a solo artist and the only remainder of the ‘Extraterrestres Musicales’ duo between him and Yandel —the two have since reunited, but back then, in 2014 ‘Adrenalina’ was one of the top 10 songs in Latin America and the videoclip was the second most streamed video on Youtube in Spain for the whole year.

‘Reggaeton Lento’ (Bailemos) CNCO

After the success of ‘Despacito’, it was no surprise that the Latin boy band’s song quickly scaled the charts. The song, featuring a collaboration with Little Mix, peaked at number 3 on Billboard 200 in 2017.

Frida Kahlo’s Painting ‘Lady In White’ Just Sold For $5.8 Million And The Mystery Of The Woman Lives On

Culture

Frida Kahlo’s Painting ‘Lady In White’ Just Sold For $5.8 Million And The Mystery Of The Woman Lives On

fridakahlo / Facebook

Ponder this for a second: If money was not a factor (yes, if you were filthy rich), how much would you pay for a work of art? Hundreds of thousands, millions?! Whoever your favorite artist is (mine is clearly Frida Kahlo), it probably wouldn’t matter, right? I’ve been to enough Kahlo exhibits around the world, and I always ask myself two questions: 1. Who are the lucky people in the world that can say they are owners of an original piece of art by Kahlo? 2. Could I ever own a real Kahlo piece of my own? Those questions are, at times, depressing because the answer is always a “who knows” and “probably not.” However, it is still fascinating to hear Kahlo’s real work — not the replicas or random merchandise — continues to be of real value. 

At a recent auction in New York, a painting by Frida Kahlo titled “Lady in White” sold for $5.8 million.

Credit: christiesinc / Instagram

The painting that dates back to 1929 or 1930 is very different from her most famously known pieces. Some art experts suggest that one of the reasons why this painting appears to be different from her surrealist and vibrant techniques is because Kahlo perhaps never finished the artwork. And, you can tell because the banner on top was left empty. 

It is said that Khalo painted this piece when she and her husband Diego Rivera were living in San Francisco. He was there of course because he was commissioned to do several murals. However, it is Kahlo who is still remembered by the San Francisco community — they did, after all, rename a street in her honor. 

The buyer of the piece is unfortunately unknown, but we do know somethings about the previous owners. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

According to Artnet, Kahlo first gave the painting to another female Mexican artist. Photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo, “a major figure in the Mexican Renaissance of post-revolution art from the 1930s through the 1950s,” was the first person ever to own this million-dollar piece. It was later in the hands of Stanford University from the collection of Dr. Helga Prignitz-Poda, on loan. The 

Christie’s Latin American art sale sold “Lady in White” on Nov. 22 at their auction, and we are so curious as to who bought it. Art collectors, of course, can be anyone living in the one percent, so we just hope this piece of iconic art is in the right hands. 

There’s always been speculation on who the “Lady in White” is, but I have my doubts. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

Some Kahlo experts say the “Lady in White” was Kahlo’s first lesbian lover, and the reason the painting isn’t finished is that “their love affair ended abruptly.” Another theory is that the woman was a friend of Kahlo’s and that this woman ended “their friendship finished unexpectedly before she can finish this painting.”

Artnet reports that in 2014, two people said the “Lady in White” was their aunt Dorothy (Brown) Fox. They also report that it could be a “relative or friend of Ralph Stackpole, a sculptor who lived with Kahlo and Rivera in San Francisco.” According to Virgilio Garza, the head of Christie’s Latin American Art department, that he thought the woman in the painting was “Kahlo’s high school classmate Elena Boder.” My theory is it could have been anyone that Kahlo felt was deserving of being memorialized forever. 

This is not Kahlo’s highest-grossing painting that was sold at a Christie’s auction. 

In 2016, Kahlo’s 1939 painting “Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma)” sold for $8 million. The highest-grossing Latin artwork ever sold at the auction is one by her husband Diego. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

The piece, titled “The Rivals,” sold for $9.76 million, which put it on the top of the list. The record was previously held by Kahlo herself.

“It’s undoubtedly one of Rivera’s masterpieces,” Garza told CNN. “The viewer’s gaze recedes in stages, from the men in the foreground, to the brightly dressed women under the hanging papel picado. Rivera’s brilliant composition of intersecting planes creates a cinematic narrative.” 

Sure it’s an incredible work of art, but nothing and no one will ever come close to the genius that is Kahlo.

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

Whoever the lucky buyer is, can you please loan it to any museum so we can see it in person too?!

READ: There’s A Frida Kahlo Exhibit That Features Rare Family Photos And It Made Me So Emotional