identity

This Queer Immigration Activist Is Pushing The Boundaries Of Brown LGBTQ Art

Julio Salgado / Jesús Iñiguez / Facebook

Julio Salgado is a Mexican artist who does not hold back in his art. The California-based artist has been making politically charged and relevant AF pieces over the past year and things are just getting started. mitú spoke with Salgado to learn a little bit more about the man behind the art.

You may recognize Salgado’s viral art series featuring popular sitcoms reimagined with people of color as lead characters.

Julio Salgado / Facebook
CREDIT: Julio Salgado / Facebook

“When the POC TV Show Takeover series took off online and folks were sharing the images, I remember reading comments that were accusing me of being anti-white or stealing white culture,” Salgado told mitú. “Hilarious! For the record, these series were not meant to put down these shows. On the contrary, I loved these sitcoms. I grew up with these sitcoms. I learned English with these sitcoms! It’s about the need to create more shows and movies that depict our stories not just in front of the camera but behind the camera.”

I-Con-Ic.

Julio Salgado / Facebook
CREDIT: Julio Salgado / Facebook

“Why were people so obsessed with a show like “Friends,” which is basically a show about six white people that hung out at a coffeeshop,” Salgado asks. “It was because they had great writers behind these characters who made them humane. We need more of that with people of color character. Thank God for Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes!”

Salgado first started making art when he was a kid and his biggest inspiration is Frida Khalo.


“When I moved to California from Ensenada, Mexico, I was put in this 7th grade class where most of the kids that looked like me spoke mostly in English. I was 12 years old, about to be a teenager and so not wanting to live in this country,” Salgado told mitú. “I felt like it wasn’t my home. But it was in the 7th grade where I was introduced to Frida Kahlo. Her raw and emotional work sparked something inside of me. As the years went by and art teachers kept encouraging me to take the art route, I just knew I wanted to do art for the rest of my life.”

And as his experience with art has grown, so has his voice, along with his no-f*cks given attitude.


“I think it’s important for artists, or anyone really, to continue to grow,” Salgado told mitú about what he wants people to take from his art. “But I guess the main message is for people to own their narratives and not let anyone speak for you.” #PREACH

Salgado first became interested in politics as a journalism student at Long Beach City College. He made cartoons for the student newspaper.

Can't sleep? #AdventuresOfBitterFag #FagFriday #Deportations #Homophobia #UndocuQueer

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“While I was at the student newspaper [at Long Beach City College], I was also creating editorial cartoons and eventually transferred to California State University, Long Beach and continued to hone my political cartooning skills,” Salgado told mitú. “Around this time, there weren’t many depictions in the media of who we were as undocumented students. The snippets you would see in the media were very dehumanizing of the migrant experience.”

“I started making artwork and writing about being undocumented and things that were affecting our communities,” Salgado said.


Salgado was moved by other undocumented activists at the time and wanted to make sure that he could help to document their fight.

Not only is Salgado tackling the political issues facing the undocumented community, he is also tackling the LGBTQ issues within the undocumented community.


Salgado says that his biggest inspiration of incorporating the queer identity to his art was from fellow queer migrant activists.

“As we know from many movements, when you’re queer you’re always told to leave the ‘gay agenda’ behind and focus on the big picture,” Salgado told mitú. “In the migrant rights movement for many years, that big picture meant immigration reform.”

By creating queer migrant art, Salgado joined several migrant activists pushing against the homophobia within the migrant rights world.


“A lot of key undocumented and formally undocumented organizers like Yahaira Carrillo, Prerna Lal, Sonia Guinansaca, Kemi Bello, Javier Hernandez and many more pushed against the real homophobia and heteronormativity that lurked in migrant rights organizing and that really informed the queerness in my political art,” Salgado continued. “Of course, my own personal queer experiences have been part of my art as well.”

Salgado’s undocuqueer lens has helped him to create some incredibly relevant art in 2016 from the ridiculousness being spewed this presidential election…

…to the tragic Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting that targeted LGBTQ people of color.


“The morning after the horrible tragedy in Orlando earlier this year, I got a call from my mother who pretty much told me to stop going to gay clubs,” Salgado told mitú. “I can’t imagine being the mother or the father of a gay son or daughter and hearing what was happening. This tragedy only reminded me of the reality that our communities go through as queer people of color.”

Since the Orlando shooting, Salgado has created a new art series dedicated to queer trans people-of-color (QTPOC) love.

Que Siga La Fiesta: Queer and Trans People of Color Club Takeover. #QueerCumbia #QTPOC #QueerArt #UndocuQueer #Oakland

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“I decided to keep going to gay clubs and bars to take pictures of the smiling queer and trans people of color while they were alive and make these illustrations,” Salgado told mitú about how he responded after the Orlando shooting. “I wanted to capture the moments when we as a community celebrate ourselves and hug each other and are there for each other.”

As for the presidential election, well, Salgado thinks the whole thing, no matter who wins, is just going to be a wash.

When you want to be hopeful but… #AdventuresOfBitterFag #FagSaturday

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“All I know is that after this circus of an election is over, we will still have detention centers, prisons, racism, etc,” Salgado told mitú. “The job of the artist is to portray that in the art. To remind folks that our bodies will continue to suffer after we elect a rich white person into office.”

And he just hopes that people of color realize that when election is over, it doesn’t mean there’s no more work to do.


“Being in the migrant rights movement for so many years has made me very, very skeptical of any politician regardless of party affiliation,” Salgado said. “So whether you decide to exercise your right to vote or stay at home, the realities that we face as communities of color will still be there after this election.”


READ: Letters of Detained Immigrants are Getting Mass Exposure by Becoming Works of Art

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This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

Fierce

This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

@yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Any designer will tell you that art and fashion often go hand-in-hand. Through the ages, art has reflected so much about society and history solely through the clothing and architecture depicted by oils and pastels. From the runways of Paris and Milan to the pages of VOGUE, the composition, color, and forms of the latest fashions often show us that they are equivalent to the most iconic works of art created by the most masterful fine artists.

Now, Vogue is yet again showing us the relationship between art and fashion with its brand new “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit.

Twitter / @mamiyolis

The exhibition is being shown at Mexico City’s historic Franz Mayer Museum from now until September 15, 2019. The sample of 65 images is a representation of the greatest photographs to manifest in VOGUE during its past 20 years as a publication.  The magazine’s archives were thoroughly examined to find the most impactful, most artistically composed and most striking pictures to be taken by photographers during their time at VOGUE.

Over the last two decades, some of the most iconic photographers ever have collaborated with the publication. Annie Leibovitz, Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Steven Klein, Sheila Metzner, Cecil Beaton, and Edward Steichen are some of the many big name artists who have captured moments for VOGUE. They have contributed easily some of the most recognizable images that the magazine has printed and their work will be available to view at the “Vogue Like a Painting” event.

Karla Martinez de Salas, editorial director of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, had this to say about the art exhibition:

“I have always believed in the power of images, in that inexplicable magic of telling stories without words that allow us to inspire and make us dream. From a painting signed by Goya, to an image photographed by Tim Walker or Paolo Roversi, it is these beautiful visual records of fashion and culture that are truly treasured in our memory and heart.”

What all of these images have in common are distinct characteristics that are traditionally attributed to paintings and other works of fine art.

Twitter / @museofranzmayer

Their narratives, details and subject matter are approached the same way a master would address a canvas. At first glance, some of these pictures don’t even look like photographs. The stylistic techniques used to capture the subject are implemented as authentically as possible — staying true to the artistic elements artists are trained in.

The compositions also invoke comparisons to different artists and art periods. Split into genres like portraiture and landscapes, artistic movements like Renaissance painting, Rococo art, and even Pre-Raphaelite works are mirrored by these photos. The images in “Vogues Like a Painting” evoke masters such as Magritte, Degas, Dalí, Botticelli and Zurbarán. Their use of light, space, color and figure drawing are mimicked by the pictures on display — making these pieces completely at home in the museum.

Of these breath-taking pictures, a gorgeous portrait of Yalitza Aparicio can also be viewed.

Twitter / @VogueMexico

This image of Yalitza Aparicio comes from a spread by the photographers Santiago & Mauricio and was published back in January 2019. The actress was the first Indigenous woman to appear on the cover of VOGUE. Displayed in the “Vogue Like a Painter” exhibit, the portrait draws comparisons to Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” The steady stare, the use of light and dark and the positioning of her body is reminiscent of the mysterious woman in the Italian master’s piece. We can even see the influence of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits reflected in the photograph of the “Roma” star.

Debbie Smith, the curator of the “Vogue Like a Picture” exhibit spoke with VOGUE MEXICO about the inclusion of Aparicio’s portrait and how historic the actress’ fashion shoot was for the magazine, fashion and art.

“I was so shocked by the cover of Yalitza, it ‘s one of the most important things that Vogue has done in recent decades … It was impeccable. I have the file saved in my mind.”

As if these beautiful pictures weren’t enough, the exhibition also includes two dresses by Alexander McQueen — one of them never before displayed — as well as another three gowns by Comme des Garçons, Christian Lacroix and Nina Ricci. These pieces were borrowed especially for the “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit. If you can get to Mexico City for this show, definitely give it a look. It is without a doubt one of the most historic mixtures of art and fashion to be seen today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twdG7xRE2TY

These Tattoo Fails Failed So Hard They Might Actually Be Winning

Culture

These Tattoo Fails Failed So Hard They Might Actually Be Winning

tatuajesxd / Instagram

Tattoos are so symbolic, that it’s not hard to figure out what is really important to the people who have them. For Latinos, it’s a perfect way to show our connection to our roots, our love for our culture and the pride of being who we are and of the people that came before us.

Obviously, there is an enormous well of inspiration in our folklore and ancestral art.

But what happens when you have a tattoo fail?

Let’s hope this is still a work in progress…

Credit: tatuajesxd / Instagram

Loteria card tattoos are popping up everywhere and they can be great but you got to do it right. Hopefully, this is just the first session and it’s on its way to looking gorgeous.

El Señor Nippleriño

Credit: worst-tattoo-ever.tumblr.com

Come on…there has to be a better way to pay homage to the humble yet iconic sombrereo?!

This samurai may just cut off that nipple…

Credit: worst-tattoo-ever.tumblr.com

Come on people! Nipple placement! How are people not paying attention to this very important detail?

No hair? No problem!

Credit: pinknightmare.com

We’ll just throw on some copyrighted Louis Vuitton monogram and ya – problem solved!

And a trend that seems to be growing: face tattoos.

Credit: pinknightmare.com

Just what is even happening here? Who is he? Why on your face? What is the whole truth?!

We weren’t totally sure to include this Brazilian artist’s work on the list…

Credit: Malfeitona / Instagram

Because “ugly tattoos” are kinda her jam. She prides herself on providing tatuagens peba, which translates to ugly tattoos. And although she can’t draw, people are all about her original ideas and less than perfect drawing skills.

Not only has the tattoo artist gone viral for it, but she’s also managed to build a successful business with dozens of 5-star reviews from happy customers, as well as over 12 thousand Instagram followers.

OK, I didn’t know Timon and Pumbaa could be cute and ugly at the same time.

Credit: Malfeitona / Instagram

Like yea…it looks like a 4-year-old drew it but hey apparently there are thousands of people into it.

Also, aren’t stars like one of the earliest things we all learn to draw?

Credit: Malfeitona / Instagram

Stars are simple! Why does it look like this? But you keep doing you girl.

With this tattoo the idea is cute but it just didn’t really work out…

Credit: tatuajesxd / Instagram

Like seriously, love the idea. But that concha looks kinda off, the font – mmm no.

Memorializing the iconic pollo on a stick.

Credit: tatuajesxd / Instagram

This pollo on a lollipop falls into that same category: good on paper but just didn’t quite turn out the way we hoped.

And I know, who doesn’t love a taco tattoo?

Credit: wiltattooer / Instagram

Well…me. At least no this one.

This little taco is almost too cute to include on this list but it just wasn’t giving us that polished tattoo look we need in a good tattoo.

We’re not sure that their tattoo artist achieved the desired effect…

Credit: iamboigenius.com

But ya calalte…nobody tell them the truth.

Apparently, we Latinos really have a thing for putting designer brands all over our bodies – permanently.

Credit: pinknightmare.com

At least the tattoo artist actually put the right initials…

READ: These Latina Tattoo Artists Know How To Give The Best Ink In The Business

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