For Latinos in Los Angeles who grew up around lowriders, car culture is about family. It’s about the days that were spent cruising down Whittier Blvd or bumping oldies on summer nights. And, of course, it’s about the personal expression that the cars represent. Now, a new exhibit is presenting lowriders as they should be: art.
The exhibit, on display for an entire year at Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is a group show that features installations, lithographs, sculptures, drawings, paintings, photography, and, of course, cars too.
According to a press release by the Petersen Automotive Museum, the lowriders featured in the exhibit combine “automotive ingenuity and imaginative expression.”
The attention to detail is staggering. Each car tells a different story, like this Gypsy Rose Piñata lowrider by artist Justin Favela.
CREDIT: Petersen Automotive Museum, Ted7.
According to the Petersen Automotive Museum, some of the cars featured include “Our Family Car,” a 1950 Chevrolet Sedan painted by legendary artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján (who died in 2011).
A post shared by Edward Goldman (@russianedward) on
Gangster Squad ’39,” a 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe by Mister Cartoon.
CREDIT: Petersen Automotive Museum, Ted7.
The show also features amazing paintings and lowrider-inspired items.
CREDIT: Petersen Automotive Museum, Ted7.
“Chicano culture is so deeply intertwined with the culture of Los Angeles and automobiles represent a rich part of that,” said Terry L. Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “We at the museum are honored to be in a position to share this vibrant and thriving culture with those who might not otherwise be exposed to it. ‘The High Art of Riding Low’ is going to be one of the most important exhibits we’ve curated.”
The show features 50 artists. We dare you to pick a favorite piece.
When it comes to maintaining and seeing our Latinidad flourish, instilling a sense of pride, excitement, and curiosity in our younger generations is key. Particularly when it comes to the past. One Twitter user’s recent birthday celebrations for her son, emphasized just how much teaching the old to the new is vital.
Way back before Twitter user @whoissd’s son Silas Cash C turned 1 year old, living in Southern California crafted a car style called “lowrider” that expressed pride in their culture and presence in the states. While the brightly painted, lowriding automobiles that were outfitted with special hydraulics that made them bounce up and down saw a peak in the 1970s, they remain a big part of Chicano culture, particularly in Los Angeles.
@whoissd’s son Silas is proving that he’ll be part of a generation that will not let the culture die out recently when he celebrated his first full year with a theme that was little more unique and closer to his family’s hearts.
For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance.
Twitter / @whoissd
On July 27, SD shared pics of the big event with her Twitter followers. The post showed baby Silas Cash cruising in his own pint-sized orange lowrider. The party came complete with several lowriders and classic cars in attendance for party-goers to check out. Since posting the adorable pics on Twitter, the message has received more than 22.5k retweets and over 138k likes.
According to SD, Silas Cash developed a fascination with lowriders because of his dad. In an email to REMEZCLA, the mom explained the connection.
“[My son’s dad] started restoring two cars to continue a bond that he had shared with his own father throughout his childhood and it’s now something that the has been introduced to our son. The lowrider culture represents family, unity, and respect to us. It really is a beautiful thing.”
The one-year old’s mini lowrider had to be specially made in Japan just for his birthday party.
Twitter / @whoissd
Silas Cash’s mom explained the decision to have the tiny lowrider made for her kiddo.
“We originally thought about getting Silas his own lowrider because of the immediate attraction he has to his dad’s Impala. With enough searching, we were able to find someone who custom makes remote-controlled pedal cars, and we were sold… Silas and his dad have matching orange ’63 Impalas with the same candy paint hardtops to match.”
Twitter was quick to react to the simply adorable party and they couldn’t stop gushing over it.
Twitter / @cali_kalypso
As this tweet points out, this party is so authentically LA. Lowrider culture started in the streets of California in the mid-to-late 1940s and the post-war ’50s. Chicano youth would lower their car’s blocks, cut spring coils and alter auto frames in order to get the lowest and slowest ride possible. Back then, this was an act of rebellion against the Anglo authorities who suppressed Mexican-American culture.
This Snoop Dog meme says it all.
Twitter / @marissaa_cruzz
We’ve seen this meme make its rounds on the internet our fair share of times but this time it 100% applies. These pics of Baby Silas Cash and his mama are some of the cutest we’ve ever seen. The added bonus of the mini Impala makes this post almost too cute to handle.
A reminder that this little man is officially the coolest kid on the block.
Twitter / @devyn_the_lame
We can just see Baby Silas Cash pulling up to the playground in this custom low rider peddle cart and being the envy of all the other rugrats. There’s no doubt that he is the most chill kiddo at daycare.
*”Lowrider” plays in the distance*
Twitter / @JGar1105
We’re getting major “The George Lopez Show” flashbacks with all this lowrider talk. Don’t you think Silas Cash needs his own theme song? Obviously, there’s only one that is cool enough for the littlest lowrider.
Other tweets pointed out that it takes a fiercely cool mom to pull off this sort of party.
Twitter / @ismokemaryjuana
We’ve got to respect SD’s mom game. She really took her vision and went for it, resulting in a fun, unique and memorable party that her guests will never forget. Great job, mom; we hope Silas Cash grows up to realize how awesome his parents are.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro fired his Secretary of Culture after he published a video that paraphrased a well-known Nazi speech at Adolf Hitler’s favorite opera. Former Secretary of Culture Roberto Alvim’s posted the video to his Twitter account Thursday evening and the overnight public outcry resulted in his firing the following day. Even the setting of the video bore so much resemblance to Nazi Germany propaganda minister Joseph Goebbel’s own desk, both with framed photographs of their elected leaders in the background. Alvim played music from the Wagner opera, Hitler’s favorite opera, in the background of his paraphrased speech from the Nazi leader’s propaganda leader.
At first, Alvim tried to chock up the viral outcry as leftist sensitivities. Eventually, he admitted that he asked his aides to Google speeches on “nationalism and art,” which inevitably led to the infamous speech by Goebbel.
Both Joseph Goebbel and Roberto Alvim said that their country’s art will be “heroic” and “national” or “it will be nothing.”
Goebbel delivered his speech in 1933, the same year Nazis seized control of Germany, as an impassioned invitation for artists to join the nationalist movement. Goebbel was intensely anti-Semitic and eventually rose in ranks to become Hitler’s second-hand man. Hitler’s will left Goebbels as the new Chancellor of Germany, for which Goebbels accepted for just one day. The next day, Goebbels and his wife poisoned their six children with cyanide and committed suicide. Twelve years earlier, at the start of the Nazi regime, Goebbels became known for his speech that would but unwittingly plagiarized nearly a century later by Alvim.
“German art of the next decade will be heroic, will be wildly romantic, will be objective and free of sentimentality, will be national with great pathos and equally imperative and binding, or else it will be nothing,” Goebbels became known to say.
“Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and it will be national… and imperative because it will be rooted in the urgent aspirations of our people, or it will be nothing,” Alvim similarly said in an address meant to announce a $4.8 million investment in Brazil’s national arts program.
Several top officials suspected that Alvim “may not be of sound mind,” but others disagree.
The speaker of the House called for Alvim’s removal from office while the Supreme Court’s highest office said that his speech must be “repudiated with vehemence.” Meanwhile, Olavo de Carvalho, a radical right YouTuber (think the Stephen Miller to Donald Trump), suspected that “it may be too early to judge, but Roberto Alvim may not be of sound mind. We’ll see,” in a Facebook post. Carvalho has since landed on a conspiracy theory that Alvim had a secretly liberal employee that sabotaged his reputation by paraphrasing Goebbel and overlaying his speech with Hitler’s favorite opera.
“Roberto Alvim couldn’t be more lucid. Had it not been for the controversy, the pressure of networks, society and the wear and tear on the political environment, it is quite likely that Bolsonaro would have kept him in office since it’s a fascist government,” tweeted another Brazilian.
Bolsonaro’s administration has decided to distance itself from Alvim regardless.
The day after the speech, Germany’s embassy declared, “The period of National Socialism is the darkest chapter in German history, bringing infinite suffering to humanity….We oppose any attempt to trivialize or even glorify the era of National Socialism.” Israel’s embassy issued a statement that put it bluntly: “Such a person cannot command the culture of our country and must be removed from office immediately.” Only after Israel called for Alvim’s ouster did Bolsonaro make what he called an “unfortunate pronouncement” that Alvim would be removed from office. The video is shockingly similar to Goebbel’s, stylistically, but the core nationalistic sentiments are one and the same. Alvim accepted his position as Secretary of Culture only after one of the previous title holders resigned when Bosonaro cut funding to LGBTQ+ artists.
Meanwhile, some Americans are taking the news with a soberingly dark sense of humor: “Former Brazilian culture minister Alvim should apply for immigration status here from @realDonaldTrump, @GOP, and bosom buddy @LindseyGrahamSC. I’m sure that they will welcome another like-minded Nazi sympathizer into the USA,” one American tweeted. Others are saying that an elected official who has to paraphrase other speeches shouldn’t be in office anyway.